It is always an exchange
this unfair trade off
Expectations raised, then dashed.

Here we go
no we don't
So close and yet

way too far

Teeter totter ?
Tug of war ?
A balancing act without the balance

A game without a winner

I sit in rush hour traffic
symbolicly stalled
watching a signal light
spell it out for me

Caution's light is so brief
-almost subliminal-
easily ignored.

So here I'm sittin' in my car at the same old stop light.
I keep waiting for a change, but I don't know what.
So red turns into green, turning into yellow.
But I'm just frozen here on the same old spot.
And all I have to do is press the pedal.
But I'm not.

--Aimee Man, It's Not

it's four in the morning
and the lights in this
sleepy suburban drag
strip of a town
are dripping with the
weight of a thousand broken
taillights shining hazily into the
tomorrow morning that's happening
somewhere else, hugging
the curvature of the earth
like a bullet train to Nice,
waiting for the pensioner in the
golf cap and sensible
shoes to drag her linen
(I think it's linen)
across the highway from
the 24-hour, self-service laund-
romat that lives there, huffing
exhaust, to the quaint little retirement
village set back only barely from the road.

The light's in her favor, has been
for a decade it seems, and this scatter-
brained old woman has stopped in the
road to adjust the tennis balls at the
feet of her walker, and I think
about that little girl, two
years old and killed when her father, drunk on
divorce papers and mouthwash,
went careening into the wrong
end of the Bay Tunnel with her car seat still
on the roof of his Camry.

She was mollified (I hope) by the pulsing
of the tunnel lights
and by her father's rocking lullaby as he
swayed over the ravine separating
consciousness from euphoria and
dodged the oncoming traffic with
its one huge headlight and its blaring
horn and its background hum.

I think about the sensory strobe of it and
say to hell with the lights and
step on it, zero to sixty
and gunnin' for grandma.

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