Ode to my Car Radio

by Jenna Durant

I always arrive at my destination unscathed
but without any memory of the street
or cars or the precariousness of my hands
lazily resting on the wheel of a capsule
hurtling at fifty miles per hour on a slow day.

Instead, drums pump and the dark sky
is sliced by the pulsing of lights--everything
pulses. Bodies brush and bump
each other like hundreds of balloons,
establishing themselves, declaring their space
in a deceptively small room coated
with salt, sweat, and Jack Daniels posters.

Sometimes you give me words that clutch
at my heart like babies wanting fed;
sometimes you stick with words like sugared cereals:
instant endorphins, long lists of ingredients.
Both turn me into an avatar that frolics
under my hair--sometimes she strums
a guitar, sometimes she moves and gyrates
as easily as water. Under no circumstances
is she alone.

You are younger than me
despite indications of antiquity--
Your empty tape deck and buttons with fading numbers
are testaments to the way we sprint through eras
that linger long after we’ve deemed them over.

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