The Coriolis Effect

When I was 17
I totaled my mother's Toyota
burying the hood
under the rear bumper
of a parked sport utility vehicle.
I'd left my girlfriend's house at dusk
in too-perfect suburbia
re-reading a card she'd given me
not yet having mastered
the art of split attention
when that damn truck
snuck right up.

16 years later
no wrecks, but no wiser
I'm still most distracted
by the parting of lips
the parting of thighs
the parting of ways
with bright hopeful eyes--
If nothing more
in the search for a life
with no hyphenated names.

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