Hitching a ride southbound, unconscious of direction;
settling in, trapped by a breeze beneath the windshield
wiper for the long ride home: a deciduous leaf that moved
far away, borne upon a midnight drive, asleep and
a'waiting for the rains of fall to feed its mother's
bark. The woman who drives, steely cold, has eyes that
burn like matches. Steadily south she's guiding the
wheels, every inch just a little bit farther from defeat.
She thinks of that boy behind her. She thinks about the
job she'll begin in the morning. Teasing the clutch, she
turns her wrist to mute and disembowel the radio.
Hitching a ride southbound, paid with no remark, no
reflection. Down like a slide in Picollo Park, where two
people kissed near a tree as a cat watched in the dark.
Leaves know nothing of love, just the cycle of time:
before, then again, and for sure next summer. When the
lady arrives, her rider will drop to rest on a foreign