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By Anne Loecher

How brave
she was, driving herself
wrapped in her mother’s
fur, alone and no hands
on the wheel but reeling,
I tend to believe?
tearing it up with the odometer at zero and a brick for a boot.
I personally hope she was driving like Hell
before slowing and lowering, before her shoulders cut,
slumped
jaw slacked and her mouth a maw filled up
with fumes. Until her gray
eyes turned up
toward the rhinestones in her room above
the polluted garage.

I can imagine
the cockpit of her car –
the dashboard dials at zero: no miles, no time.
While the blue carbon clouds collected, a tumbler
of her favorite sedative
graceful all the way down
to her slim ankles and the stemmed pedal.

I don’t want
to cruise at some pitched altitude
into altitude
but I do
want to keep you Anne
at arms length, a few fingers of you;
how you talked dirty to death,
burned water,
how wet petals
became your grains of rice.
It’s the famine of you that makes me want
to starve for love.
I know why.
I know why I
shut my mouth like a black
lock box, watch the worriers stamp and offer handfuls

while I clamp and rust.
When I picture the powder
blue of you, Anne,
your mouth a blue black circle
opened to receive a longed-for tablet,
the long-limbed frame and fame of you, ankle looping ankle like
infinity, an
exponent,

I believe again
in the holiness of emptiness.

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