Seat Belts

A voice on the radio
is speaking its truth about God,
and because it isn’t a sermon,
we listen in—

always amused by religious absolutes,
the divine word divided
into comprehensive chapters.

We’ll be home in about an hour
which is plenty of time to get lost
on the back roads, or turn around
and abandon the mortgage
and the sleeping children
to the babysitter.

There is always the possibility
of a deer running into the road
toward the mysterious light,
unaware of the parallel desire
in humans to do the same.

I can almost feel my body
ripping apart after the swerve,
the collision with a nearby tree,
the staccato snapping of bones
and the pretty red paint of our blood
blending with the white sparkle
of shattered windshield.

The voice tells only part of the story
but for a small price
we can buy the whole book—

find out how it ends, how the once lost soul
was saved.

I turn off the radio
and climb into the backseat, unrestrained.
Seat belts save lives,
I think to myself.
But so does an hour of silence, supine,
and the grand view
through the long rectangular window
salted with the light of speeding stars.

DeMaris Gaunt

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