Gasoline Cathartic

Start the engine.

Sit there.

Let it run.

Let it get warm,

as you adjust the mirrors,

the seat,

the stereo.

Adjust everything.

Now It’s time.


Put it in reverse

and back out of the driveway,



This is where you realize

your heart controls your foot

and you ease it back,

until you’re pointing down the road.


Put it in gear

and the fact that you don’t

launch this metal missile

like a moon rocket

breaking Earth’s gravity

is damned impressive.

You just idle it,


down the street,

watching for kids playing.


A few more stop-and-turns

and it’s almost time.

A few more exits

and the pace is growing.

The mind has held,

but man,

it breaks,

when you turn on the stereo

and suddenly,

the heart takes over.


Clear sky,

or rain.

Night or day.

It doesn’t matter.

Emotion grips the wheel

and pain and anger

run the throttle

and the volume

with the same abandon.


Deep down,

you and the vehicle are both

internal combustion engines;

burning old things

and turning them into raw power.


The world blurs

and maybe there’s yelling,

and maybe there’s tears,

and maybe,

right now,

that’s all necessary.


There are no cops,

this time,


without a destination,

you ride,

until either the fuel,

or the music,

or the tears

run out.


Black top church.

350 horse power confessional,

Alpine Audio gospel choir,

but no pastor.

Just the open road,

the sky

and the truth.


If it’s ever time to go home,

you’ll turn around,

but sometimes,

we all just want to keep driving;

abandon everything.


Who we are,

where we’ve been;

leave all that pain

in the rear-view mirror;

but not this time.

This time,

you find the exit

that takes you back home.



HG – 2019

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