Jan/Feb 2007 Poetry

a driving instructor has a recurring nightmare

by Michaela A. Gabriel

Artwork by Ira Joel Haber

a driving instructor has a recurring nightmare

for Arlene Ang

a strand of long black hair snakes around the corner, birds
stop singing mid-scale, a handful of leaves decide to jump.

something coughs twice in the exhaust pipe. hands go pale
on the steering wheel, his foot slams and slams on a brake

that has just discovered disobedience (noun, uncountable).
purple patches dance before his eyes, the colour of her long

woolen coat. he hits a red aluminum bucket. metallic sound
rumbles across his temples like maniacal laughter. her blue

shadow stretches from bumper to windscreen; useless
wipers kick-start into overdrive. she clings like wet petals,

like a leech. her lips move, rattling off every roundabout
he made her enter, every town she zigzagged (knit one,

purl one) in labyrinths of one-way streets. her fingers tap
out the meaning of traffic signs in twenty-two languages;

her favourite one says riding into the sunset. She plucks it
for him at the corner by the park. the motor screeches no,

no, not down that road! he lurches into reverse. he discovers
green doesn’t suit him. sweat pours her name down his back.


Previous Piece Next Piece