- Married And, and: Windchill, and: Road Trip
Married and the door to her officelocked from the inside, a woodendoor with faces spiraled into the grain.
And a Sunday, and our hands,our mouths, our hands and tongues,the air-conditioner's low hum,
a strip of tissue paper tied to the ventsquiggling its red line. And our tongues.Married and her son's 5 x 7 on her desk,
aluminum bat propped and sun-dazzledon his shoulder, eyes blindfoldedby the cap's shadow. And her blouse
flayed open, my hands, her lavenderbra, my hands. Married and her husbandsomewhere over the Mediterranean,
eyes on a magazine or shut, the plane'soval windows tinted with evening.And the dark waves below.
And the quick bottlenose dolphinssashaying in the water, the frequencyof their clicks disrupting the sonar. [End Page 155]
And scarves wound around our throats,hands lost in the darkness of gloves.
We understood the idea of cold, but not this.What a gust does to our bodies: bones
molded from snow. Last week's newspaperglistening on the sidewalk, sheathed
in ice. What happened to the world then?Another kidnapping. Another explosion
at a café, the swarm of glass. A stingingon our cheeks, this windchill makes you
think only of Now. We tip our headsand plow through the city with the others,
the ghosts of our breathing made visiblebefore wind lifts them from our mouths.
A car detonates and your television flattensthe aftermath, a car that is not a car anymorebut the mouth of a crater. Bodies too, bodiesonce upright with breath in their mouths.A car detonates on Tuesday, on Wednesday, [End Page 156] two days later a car detonates and bodiesflattened under concrete, crimson marblingthe road. Spring to summer and cars to not-cars,breaths to not-breaths, to blood in the mouths.Car on the road and you behind the wheel,a song in your mouth. The song is greenand goes out the window where the horizonis flattened. Your car goes and the songgoes and summer hammers down its heat,sun on your windshield and the constellationof insects flattened by speed. No televisionor news reels. Just song and highways,just landscape. A hawk in the dusk-lighthovering seven stories above the crimson earth. [End Page 157]
David Hernandez's poetry collections include Always Danger (Southern Illinois University Press, 2006), winner of the Crab Orchard Series, and A House Waiting for Music (Tupelo Press, 2003). Early next year, HarperCollins will publish his first novel, Suckerpunch. His poems have appeared in the Missouri Review, Ploughshares, FIELD, TriQuarterly, AGNI, the Southern Review, and the Iowa Review. David lives in Long Beach, California and is married to writer Lisa Glatt.