Thrown Through the Windshield

Cars, cars, cars, the long highway
in SoCal, land of firestorms,
bunkers of fast food, motels
for fast fucks, overdoses,
suicides, billboard gospels,
malls and logos, passing peeks
at Missions ringed with roses.

A mediterranean
region even so, and so
adults behind the wheels bark
at kids to put down gadgets
and see the snowy mountain
there, and there the sunny surf—
gone, gone by the next exits.

That would be the scenic route.
All the windows are sealed up
for climate control, so cool
in this metal bubble, each
window a silver screen, and
the movie keeps moving on,
junkyards, oleanders, sand.

Then there is the math of death,
because some get home alive
and some don’t. A collision
is always going to happen,
better we’re lucky enough
to rubberneck that scene, gone
by the next exit and brunch.

If we’re thrown through the windshield,
the scene changes, the whole script
changes. So let’s take that trip,
launched into wild blue yonder,
oh big sky of the west, oh
Zen moment all too human
and the world turned upside down.

Maybe there’s a soft landing
in a citrus grove, only
a few broken bones, the fight
to catch your breath. Maybe not,
and emailed memorials
a few hours later. Random,
as we often say just now.

This highway is a dead end.
There has to be some other
way to get from here to there.
What is that if not a god
forsaken kind of kindness
just possible if we make
it so? No more than a prayer.