on the way home

in a cab zipping
up First Avenue,
late at night with
no traffic and we catch
all the lights, I can make
seventy blocks in seven minutes
on a good night and I’m
watching the car’s reflection glide
sleekly, slipping fast as a
fish, frictionless,
through all the windows
and storefronts, metallic
silver and chrome and the dark
black, blank spaces in between,
as if I’m in a dream,
and I start to wonder
which is reality, this car
that I’m in, or that ghost
car? I can’t see anyone’s
face at the window
of that doppelganger
vehicle. maybe no one is home,
or maybe in that car another girl
is looking, half-drunk, dreaming,
and wondering
about my own existence.

I always pass
those skeletal trees on thirty-
or forty-something, the ones
that are so magically clothed
in blue lights, like a fairy forest
transplanted to Manhattan, and
I feel the same kind of inchoate
longing every time; I want to
live in that cool unearthly beauty
forever, but I also know
that if I had them
in my house, they would quickly
pall and lose their eldritch
magic. it’s like catching fireflies
in a jar. they die too soon,
even when you punch all those
holes in the lid. one day
they will be gone, and only
live on in my memory.
I miss them already, though
they’re still here. likewise
I miss you.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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