Driving Test

(after McKinney)

(1). You grant your driver examiner the license to instruct you in phonic Ebonics because no one
ever understands anything you say. Follow the path that doesn’t crave a black blood, she says
during your third driving test at a Greater Toronto Area. So, you clutch diagonal away from
herbs, sapwoods & the roadkill of puma-doomed creatures. (2). As a trauma informed driver, you
watch out for school kids crossing countries in sloppy feet. Your extra-curricular race with
family had never been past unwelcome dreams beyond the clouds. (3). On your next turn, you
are looking over your shoulders in fear repeatedly, like experienced passersby at Jane & Finch’s
intersection. Constructions never cease; the roads are too wounded. (4). Decamp into ramps of
small intestine twists, she says. But driving alone, you’ve always avoided highways— for the
fear of breeze shaving crazily at your vehicle’s chemo head, other drivers bullying your
sluggishness or the spotlessness of speed guns with km bullets aiming at your windscreen’s chest.
But boys in your age don’t mind masturbating the wind, she adds. (5.) On your first test, after
noticing Simcoe’s lofty landmass in a hazy lettered landscape, you nodded into Barrie. Your car
engines grew nervous, sick, and then, jerked into an historical recall of some Mexicans dodging
traffics to disembark Wasaga Beach on an over-speeding wave. That’s why you don’t choose to
do your tests at other nameless distant cities. They pass almost everyone who could steer a bit of
an anger in their ankle but you. (6). As you return, the cloud is wrinkling, and the evening is
becoming a burden to the examiner’s sight but yours remain catchy for every vehicle’s print that
pleads every mind that reads. (7). Streetlights are dashing lustre against the Lord’s prayer your
summer tires cast upon the road’s sharp yellow margins. Your heart is failure pious. Park here for
now, she says, until the court calls for another hearing the government will carter for some of your
needs. (8). Wut? She means to park parallel to wherever peace seems to reign despite friendly
obstacles ahead and/ behind. You collect back the license to be sure you’ve been hearing the right
thing all along. No, things have been going down-hill. When she asks you to perform three points
turn, you don’t want to go back home, you say. “What do you mean death awaits you at the port?”
The language-textured plexiglass in between wipes hazy odour barrier. (9). [red light
camera ahead]— she hits the brakes for you on her end. “That’s enough! You should go back
home,” she tells.

Fourteen Ways of Looking

At fourteen I imagined that in the face of great tragedy, I would be brave, heroic even.

By The Numbers

On the coldest nights, you could hear these other lives. Broken housing contracts and paystubs-that-never-were fluttering their wings in the wind.

[a beating]

the / kneeling / is / not / like prayer.