after the dinner date
the drive in obscure, nervous silence
back to the other car left
in the park in order to save on
gas and time.
picture a woman driving that first car,
the long, knobby stretch of park roads,
driving past the drowsy bison,
past an archery field,
past the shimmy of moonlight
on the casting pools.
see her driving, trying not
to take the easy shortcuts,
trying for extension this time,
as if she had all the time in the world
for a nighttime drive.
picture the scant inches been the driver
and her new passenger
and the exactitude of hands not touching.
picture the dim glow
of an odometer inching forward
and a park, empty of its daytime jubilation,
turning, under moonlight, into enchanted
forest, into something of mythology, into
picture the park as introduction, as the place of descent,
an outer edge, a preamble.
picture a circle of trees, and new ferns, and early blossoms,
and fingers on a steering wheel,
all bending with the whims of the road.
this is what spring is, what it promises
the perfect stonehard beauty of everything,
the mottled pit from which life erupts
unexpectedly but with such precise choreography
a car becomes a dancer,
its passengers inside,