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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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That Moment When I Detach From Myself         

                                   

the gray-haired woman leans

her forehead on the hard steering wheel

of the rusty brown Chevy pickup, a cigarette

propped between stained fingers of her left hand

 

lazy smoke furls around the pine freshener   

dangling from the rearview mirror

 

I stare from my pearl blue SUV           

parked beside her truck                     

she doesn't shrug or twitch, doesn't  

drag on the cigarette

 

her posture—

exhausted, helpless, lost in nicotine smog   

 

out of body, I curl onto her lap             

lay my head on her cold steering wheel

give way to exhausted, give in to helpless

without knowing I am there, she nurses me

 

in the passenger seat of my pristine Jeep I am   

without destination or map, no cigarettes                 

 

she stirs, inhales, exhales a smokescreen    

lowers the window to flick an inch of ash

toward me

                    locked in my own fragile fog

 

she starts the pickup, drives off

 

                             - Jo Barbara Taylor