Photographing Aspirations

Fume-glossed, unbearably shrill,
this car is dilated with a glaze
that will vanish before standstill—

and here's the youth swimming in space
above his whiplash motorcycle:
quadriplegia shows him its propped face—

after, he begged video scenes
not display his soaking jeans,
urine that leathers would have hidden

and the drag cars have engines on their engines.

Copyright © 2007 by Les Murray. Reprinted from The Biplane Houses with permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. For more on FSG's poets, visit