Exit Ahead


Whenever that music starts, 
my vision clouds and my mind projects 
a different image before me. 
I try ignoring it, but my focus 
on the imagined more often than not 
supersedes that which is right in front of me. 
Not so bad when I’m at my leisure, 
but at the wheel of a speeding car 
it can be unfortunate and unwise. 
As if I have a choice when the music
moves from my ears to my eyes.
And when the last strains of the song 
fade into the first of the next, 
I wonder how I got from there to here.
No, not from mile marker 12 to 16.
Too often, I look for the answer 
assisted by a memory as full of skips 
and repeats as an old LP played 
over the highway’s tarstrip heartbeat.
14, 15, 14, 15…
14 years, 15 years…
Exit ahead. Here I am.
Again.
Still.

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