Cruising to Work

Cruising to work in gray dawn rain
I feel the traffic congeal
into a single organism,
the dead-end of evolution.

Radio news simpers. Flood
and war, law and politics.
The organism chokes on itself,
suffering from lack of oxygen.

On days like this I’m weightless,
a helium-filled object. Good thing
I’m not intrinsic to the crude
and dying organism formed

by the mile-long file of taillights
dappled down the highway ahead.
To better define myself I park
by the reservoir and stand staring

into the mist. Not like Avalon,
castles adrift, the Holy Grail
winking in a disciplined sky.
No, the bare bones of New Hampshire

ache with rheumatism, groan
with runoff. Back in the car
I point myself at the core
of the earth; but the traffic

skips me along like a flat stone
on water, and the long recession
of taillights illuminates only
the merest shrug of the mind.

Delia Rainey is finishing her third year at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and is a poetry intern at The Missouri Review.