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Postmodern Village
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Drive-Thru Therapy
by Hezekiah Allen Taylor

she came to him for more than this--
this pathetic gathering of like disenchanted,
she never wanted his pity
once she craved his affection
and settled for his virginity
but never did she picture
this meeting: him sloughing off responsibility
a staring like deer venturing across highway
as customers shine lights over the goings-on
while trying to uncover parking

she grinds her reddened fingers
into the soft grip of the steering wheel
then peels them off again
she hears him bisect
the skills of his current
like Moses parting the Red Sea

she never loved me like you baby

the baby is standing up
in the dip of the passenger seat
and wailing, chewing on an Ernie-engineered train car
while she stares into the black wall of 2 a.m. logic

she wonders what made her do this:
she woke; she dressed; she gathered the baby
she warmed up the car; she drove here
on empty, sheen-covered streets
past doe-eyed houses dutifully asleep

he had called claiming all answers
but she received only questions
upon official arrival

if I dumped her?
if we got married?
if we moved to St. Louis?
if I stopped going out with Jake and Ryan?

his fingers still gripped the seal
of the rolled down window
when she put the car into gear
rolling it past the clear frame
where they'd met over a sack
of steaming, wrapped burgers

at the street, she gassed it hard
to keep the engine revving
she turned left out of the drive--
holding her arm out to protect
the teetering child--
and she took her murderous intentions
and their baby
home to bed.

Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version -- Inspiration
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