— a poem by Wayne Burke

The drunker I got
the more I fought
to stay sober, and
the straighter I
stood, until, ready
to pass out, I strode
from the bar to the
nearest car in the lot
and into the backseat
took a header...
One night I woke as the
car I'd slept in moved at
a high rate of speed down
a hill and a guy I knew, 'Red,'
driving, ramming the nose
of his car into the rear of a
car ahead. "What the fuck
are you doing?" I said to Red
who, surprised to see me, said
his girlfriend was with a guy in
the other car and that he, Red
going to kill both.
I had to talk fast that night:
had to save 3 lives, 4, including
my own; had to get Red to agree
to wait and kill the bastards later.

Wayne Burke's work has appeared in FORGE, miller's pond, and Northeast Corridor. He was poet-of-the-month in Bareback, 7-13.