TWO-WAY STREET

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I’m drunk on high fructose corn syrup at seven a.m.
Soggy cereal poured into a red solo cup,
no time to sit at the table.
One high-top in front of the other,
my feet click down the stairs.
Slam the car door behind me,
jam the seat buckle,
catch my breath.

Speeding thirty in a twenty-five,
I bounce my leg every three seconds.
Praying we defy the digital dashboard minute hand,
I swipe through anatomy flashcards,
ingesting the body’s genetic code.
The clavicle connects to the scapula.
The clavicle connects to the scapula.
The clavicle connects. to. the. scapula.

Run my finger over my sternum,
my brain is a hard drive filled with anatomy gigabytes,
maxed out on storage space by the first bell.

Look over to the driver’s seat,
his hands on the wheel look more wrinkled than I remember.
He reminds Mom and me twice a week
that he isn’t getting younger
and that God only has gray hairs
and Depends diapers destined for his future.
And he’s not wrong,
so we drive to school together
until the day he can’t drive anymore.

He relishes in every second,
basking in morning windshield frost.
The air’s stillness hugs us,
cradles us,
sings us soft lullabies
through clogged air vents.

The Michelin rubber swipes the curb.
He sees my belly breath try to calm
my computerized cerebral cortex.
He mutters,
“Take today one hour at a time.”

And I say,
“You too.”

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