The bustylicious blonde swimsuit model who moonlighted as a newscaster
reported it was a carjacking: a desperate man driving a stolen sedan
leading a fleet of police down the 405,
while the helicopter above highlighted the high speed pursuit
as if spotlighting opening night at the Hollywood Bowl.
The Devil Rays were murdering the Angels so I switched to the news
hoping to catch tomorrow’s forecast.
That’s what it’s come to for me—
deciding on shorts or pants, tank top or polo.
I watched cheering him on,
as he weaved through the glowing lanes
like the sirens were merely shrill reminders guiding him
on the expressway to escape.
We weren’t so different:
him sweating in bucket seats in a car that’s not his,
me slouched into a La-Z-Boy in a life that’s not really mine.
Part of me rooted for him to race far away from the chase,
from the media,
from this place into a world where the echoes of broken speed limits
ring like casual conversation.
The other part wanted to see him plow head-on into another car
jump out the window
reach for a gun
engage in a shootout
with blood and brains and guts
spilling all over the freeway
so I could be reminded of what it means
to be real.
But I didn’t want to be let down yet again,
so I changed the channel back to the ballgame—
where men in uniform follow rules enforced
by other men in uniform.
Because it usually ends that way:
the criminal slowly coming to a stop and getting out,
his conceding hands in the air,
his defeated face
confiding in the ground.
(originally published in MiPOesias)