2 September 2009 | Vol. 9, No. 3

Nocturne: Inexcusable Apologia

Too late to think about tomorrow, I do it anyway,

           and while I'll still be sleeping, your drive across I-95

                      I always picture, every situation different. First

a man in a car with a siren—flickering and silent—

           wearing away its dark black paint. He stops, tells you

                      to get out. Since there's a passenger in your rearview,

you do. Mimicking the original Vanishing, he wraps a cloth

           around your mouth, but I can't describe your struggle.

                      Car abandoned. People passing see nothing. Their excuse:

they were also on their way to work. Then the only day

           of snow: your blown tire, a piercing nail, your skidding

                      into the right lane, breath finally slowing…

A man wearing trustworthy clothes—a business suit,

           a wedding ring—offers to drive you to the nearest mechanic.

                      There cannot be a cell phone anywhere.

This time, in Breakdown, Kurt Russell will not save his wife.

           Then the part in Fargo: you the passenger, someone else

                      driving, where Grimsrud, eyeing you helpless

and broken-legged, shoots you off camera, only

           quick flash and gone-before-you-know-it powder burns.

                      You asked me once, like it was some kind of game,

to change something about you. I would answer this:

           you trust too much. Everyone around you, and even I,

                      can make choices for you. And believe me, I often think

someone else will always make them. Gun to your head.

           Chemical cocktail wrapped too tight. The way

                      you writhe. The call I get too many hours later.

About the author:

Keith Montesano's first book, Ghost Lights, a finalist for the 2008 Orphic Prize, will be published by Dream Horse Press in 2010. Other poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, American Literary Review, Third Coast, Ninth Letter, Crab Orchard Review, Another Chicago Magazine, River Styx, Hunger Mountain, and elsewhere. He is currently a PhD Candidate in English at Binghamton University.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Keith Montesano at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 9, No. 3, where "Nocturne: Inexcusable Apologia" ran on September 2, 2009. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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