Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Watchers

I didn’t see the impact,
instead, I felt it.
I tried. In fact, I turned my head when the tires squealed,
but that was not soon enough. It happens faster than you know.

We waited, breathless, key in hand,
for the crunch and scrape of metal to metal.
But there was no sound.
Just the sight of a body thrown up
up up and then down, hard.

And then everything slowed.
And everyone froze.
And we were the watchers.

We saw, his body, lying there,
Ah, we said
it is true, then, about the shoes.
We had all heard the rumors
but now we knew.

He lay there,
not really twisted,
though parts
seemed artificial,
as if they were planted,
His hand swelling like a limp succulent.

We waited,
after the accident,
for him to move.
Slowly we crept closer,
like animals sniffing out life
in the nearly dead.

The driver got out of his car.
He stood over the man.
What, he yelled,
do you think you are doing?
Why were you in the street? He screamed
his hands on his hips like an exhausted mother.

He shook his finger. He scolded
as if this twisted wreckage,
this doughy muscle and tissue,
sinew bitterroot, scattered teeth,
and all that wet slick blood leaking
from the back of this body machine
weren’t punishment enough.

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