Right there! You cut me off you piece of shit!
Did you not see me driving here, I shout
into the windshield, hand balled in a fist.
And then you flip off me? Give me the bird
when you were in the wrong, it’s clear to me,
from my position of authority.
Safely encased in metal and music
to drown the homeward drive I take at five.
But you, you fuck, you fuck it up for me
and everybody behind me you force
to stop, tires screech, nerves fray, hearts race,
somewhere a child falls from the sky, and you
in front when you should be behind. This is
too much! I’ve had enough of driving ’round
a town with idiots who think they own
the road. Not me, who follows rules, obeys
the speeds except the one enraging me
right now inside my chest, ears burning, fight
or flight or freeze you could have killed me, fool,
(not really) or my bumper more than not.
My car’s worth more than you make in a year,
based on the looks of your decrepit Ford.
I hope your insurance is up to date.
By now my window’s down, I’m next to you,
we scream at each other as people watch,
recording us with their smart phones, our dumb
tyrannical stunt goes viral, this and more at ten.
I stop the car, open the door, and you
follow my lead and, much to your dismay,
my frame and wheels come out to make a chair,
a wheelchair, what? I lift into the seat.
Your anger, paralyzed, reflects my legs,
as slender as your arms, I see. You shake
your head and turn away. Will you not fight
with me? Before, you cut me off and scoffed,
and now you slice my manhood deep without
an offer of a dance? I may surprise
you, tougher than I look, or at least in
my head. I spit onto the car you get
inside. There’s not much I can do to you
outside of my arm’s reach. You challenge ‘gainst
my alpha male delusion of myself.
Displaced by normalcy, hypocrisy
of me, the me that is forever changed.
At six foot three, two twenty easily,
an IED explodes inside of me.
The tank begins to shake and split and fire
erupts around us all, the valley rocks
and shots ring out, an ambush overtakes
the squadron, Hajis all around us now.
You should have stayed inside your Ford,
Away from stranger danger and a vet
with post-traumatic stress disorder, blind
with wrath, the crippled freedom fighter who
gave up his youth, the better years of life,
when airlines slammed into the Towers.
Did you so soon forget? We are at war,
an endless war, a generation left
to fight for right when right ain’t right, or left
to bury bitter burdens and friends.
A man who tastes the peak of peril will spend
a lifetime of attempts to recreate
sensations, rousing tempts of fate too late
to gain re-entrance to the rush he felt
to touch the edge of death where nothing else
compares, except perhaps the rush hour drive
when dear old granny drops F bombs polite,
and quiet desperations line the streets.