← Issue 1 


by Christine Sloan

Driving past palm trees,
warm wind a welcome fluster through open windows,
radio loud,
I felt young, fast, reckless

Flying down Clint Moore Road that December
the Florida sun melted like pink wax in my rear view mirror
Ahead, red and blue lights flashed
clashing with the pastels of the surrounding world

I remember the car
bright red, sporty, low-to-the-ground…
When I saw it, divided around the
brown pole on the manicured green lawn,
it was still bright red
So were the pole, the lawn
A red spray of droplets
glittering in that disappearing sun, a ruby arc

I watched unhurried policemen
The shrouded afterthought (they stepped around
it like parentheses)
to the right of the car
I imagined the broken boy beneath
also once beautiful, sleek, full of life and promise
The engine of his youth fueled by his dreams

Who knows why he was racing against time.
An appointment in Samarra?
Or just the desire we all feel
to run as fast as we can
leap into the unknown and land in deep water
fly down the street with bass thumping in our rib cage
Young once and never again

I sometimes think of him
Young always, never old
a footnote in my forty-seventh year
a boy I never even met
his fiberglass wings drowning in the fading dusk

If I could go back there
me at 21, him wherever he ended;
Would I tell him
Drive slow. Please drive slow.

Or would I say
How fast you will fly

Christine Sloan is a high school English teacher at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan. She began teaching in Florida, then moved to St. Joseph, Michigan in 2002. She loves reading, coffee, collecting beach glass, writing, and spending time with her husband and her pets. She attends Andrews University in whatever spare time she has and fully intends to be a student as well as a teacher for as long as possible.