At 17, we stood close to the edge
of the tracks as the train tore past us,
engine shredding the wind,
my heart throbbing against death so near.
I held the fear in my lungs
so you wouldn’t smell it on my breath.
You loved the fast kick of blood in the veins,
the adrenaline rush that tested
my pale cheeks with patches of pink.
At Lake Calhoun, the headlights
speckled the highway
as we kissed our way from car to shore.
We swam out to the floating dock
and I watched you dive from center stage
while I pawed waves and swallowed water.
Years later, my courage thinning
with each bite of yesterday,
the sighs of reality fall like dust
and settle, a quiet inside me.
You still have sex in parking lots
as if the temporary thrill
can drill a tunnel, a secret escape.
I will marry tomorrow, settle down.
You leave a message on my machine
“Don’t do it”.