Michael Hoerman

Starting Over 

I packed everything I owned—
All the usual troubles.
On the expressway, I jumped. The car
Careened toward a balustrade—the cleansing
Fireball threw me into a trackless snowfield.
When I awoke, my doctors offered me their guest room.
At first it was all nicey-nice. Do you need to use the car,
What do you want for dinner, et cetera. Before long,
We-know-you’re-sleeping-with-our-daughter                hung
Over all our heads.

                      The doctors had a treatment plan—
A little house, a job, a 2-car reward. We took it.
In 10 years, we accumulated more than we liked.
So we made a plan—to pile the cars full, then
Drive them off a cliff, side-by-side.
                      For weeks we drilled on Powerpoint:

  • Accelerate to 35 miles-per-hour

  • Jump at point-x

  • Meet in mid-air

  • Clasp hands

  • Roll into feathery sunset

But at the edge I held—watched
Her touch down in slow-mo in the rear view—then
Bit into gravity-hardened soil.   
                                       When I awoke,
My doctors were there, disguised as garden-variety
                           My doctors gave me a room
Over their bathroom. I’d hear them
Brush their teeth, wait 30 minutes, then quietly
Slip into their daughter’s—uh-hum—room. She had a 4-poster bed.
She didn’t shave. They were trying to fix her, too.
We were being bad together.
                              That’s always how it starts.