Super America, 7:23 P.M.

All I want to be is generous but not stupid.


Is it insane to leap and leap

and hope to always land upright

because I mean well, want to mean good

I feel the threads in the five-dollar bill

As I hand it over to you


you need it more than I


the look in your warm, tired brown eyes


I hop back in my car, turn the key in the ignition

The engine clears its throat


In my rearview mirror

(a gift)

through my glasses

(a gift)

I see the tattered brim of your Coca-Cola baseball cap

as you lean up to the window of the rusty Buick

lean up to check on the sleeping silhouette in the passenger seat


I pull the stick, bring the car into drive

warm hum steady

And behind me you hold up the waist of your too-big pants

while you push open the door of the Super America,

Cig ads swinging,

Sleigh bells beneath the “Open” sign jangling.


When I say “Godspeed,” I’m really wishing you

Not velocity but a higher love and protection, stranger.


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