Two Scenes

Sunlight digs into a patch of clover.
You inventory their leaves like books
as if they contain the essence of all the people
who have impacted your life— A keychain dins.
You fear what happens when your mother drives her car.
You picture the scene: honeycomb of steel;
rosary, blood, glass and chalk on black asphalt;
all silent except the distant passing of trains; all dark
except the glow of bruise-blue lights—. You hear her engine rev.
Orange engulfs the clovers.
You wave as your mother drives off.
The petals glow, on the verge of flame.

Through your windshield the stoplight looks
like two red moons seen from inside a turbid river.
Its eyes have watched for ten minutes, unblinking,
besieging you in the cab of your truck. You sit quiet, frozen,
resigned to stillness, night—shunning anticipation
of freedom. The driver opposite you is angry,
writhes in the streetlight’s gaze, rage paints his face.
Soon he tires, falls into stillness
like a dragonfly swallowed by a rising tide of sap.
You imagine an alternate life where he runs the light,
frees himself from amber. A semi-truck collision.
You dial the ambulance, gagging from fumes of burnt rubber
and blood. You wonder which of the four of you is most alive.

Ryan Bollenbach lives, writes, and noodles on his guitar in Tampa, Florida. He is a fan of poetical mysticism and cinematic minimalism. His poetry can be read at Prick of the Spindle, Brevity Poetry Review, and the Rose Red Review. His editorial work can be read at