Burning Descent

Seated out front
the same siren again
blares off on me
the sudden alarm of recent events
jarring me out of focus
here in the open
unshielded, defenseless
barely even a curb
between me
and forty-five mile per hour death

I move from café to café
keeping it unpredictable
working on the anti-pattern
while knowing the odds
of any day are as horrible
as another
anyone might choose poorly the hour
for a cuppa
when the epilectic behind the wheel
suddenly seizes, spasms, stomps down
the accelerator
arms jerk
the car careens into the corner shop
shards of glass blow inward in a rain
bricks dislodge
as the big front end penetrates
driving deep through tables and chairs
coffee sippers, book readers, laptop jockeys
blood and broken bones and post-traumatic stress
the violence of war in peace
is ever present
such as the Ford pick-up truck
its driver spinning circles in the intersection
drunken donuts
that grow increasingly wild
too much glaze on the curve
too many sprinkles of Dutch courage
and away it breaks
door flings open
passenger tumbles out
the great white brick hurls through
yet another café
battering security door
shattering windows
but it’s not enough
it reverses but can’t pull free
drives forward and back
in and out
ripping metal
crunching glass
like a beast after its burrowed prey
finally, it ends
the truck freed
to screech away in a storm of debris
exhaust and outraged cries of witnesses
those places, I reason now
are the safe places
both have been inoculated
by thousand pound needles of steel
but not I
and I know
its coming for me
as inevitable and inexorable
as the next rock from space


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