Poetry & Prose

Hawthorne Past Park, March 19

The drive home is a knee jerk.
The drive home is a habit I have.
The drive home is the drive home from your house to my house
And the drive home from your house to my house feels like
that habit you said I have.
It’s predictable, the drive home from your house to my house,
at 3am,
groggy from our conversation with our
lips forming that circular argument
with the same movement as that habit,
lips to the lip of the bottle.

Our respective repetitions have spelled the evidence of
respective afflictions—
namely the respective affections for our
respective addictions,
And yes, I indulge you long enough to let you pick my scab
(that nasty habit I have),
let you pull the edges of skin back to relieve that itching need,
with a rush of red to the surface,
while red cars rush past
Main, Maple, Oak,
Suburban scar tissue paved in asphalt, lined by lawns.

Whose habit is this? The habit I have?
I drive, and I close my eyes, and I might as well be drunk
on your accusations, my lips moving to the lip of your ignorance.
But my habit never held the bottle.
It picked you up instead,
drove you around for too long and let you tell me
what a nasty habit I had.
A drunk is someone who can’t give it up.

But this real habit I had,
the drive home from your house to my house,
Broke on Hawthorne tonight.
Shouldn’t I be swerving, now?
Doesn’t my vision blur, here?
My judgment must have failed me, already,
pulling out of the driveway on Park,

But I have never driven so straight as this drive home
from your house to my house.

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