Jeremy Halinen

Afternoons above I-5

We used to drop acid
and sit on the overpass
to watch the dragon faces
the cars would make at us
as they raced
beneath our dangling legs.
Cars like it when you’re high enough
above them to notice
more than their surfaces.
It’s the story of their exhaust
they want you to care about,
not their paint jobs
or the treads
on their tires. They want you to lean down
and touch them.
I know what you’re thinking.
It’s dangerous,
what we used to do. But
the cars told us they’d catch us if we fell.
You say, So what if they did?
And you’re right.
There’s always a catch.

Jeremy Halinen is cofounder and editor-at-large of Knockout Literary Magazine. His first full-length collection of poems, What Other Choice, won the 2010 Exquisite Disarray First Book Poetry Contest. His poems appear or will in such journals as Cimarron Review, Court Green, Crab Creek Review, the Los Angeles Review, Poet Lore, and Sentence. He resides in Seattle.


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