It had begun to rain—
the street, slick with haplessness.
The Jefferson Corridor, exactly how I remembered it—
forlorn by potholes.

Without warning, not even an orange cone,
my car bottomed-out,
the front end diving as I applied the brakes.

Not a hole from worm or pin,
but the road like the back of a crocodile
leading back to what was once a swamp.

As my Chrysler limped to the side,
I glimpsed into the rearview mirror:

Out of the kettle rose,
the head of cherub; not the plump child
of the Renaissance,
but the four-faced biblical ungulate
walking upright, the smell of hot asphalt
darkening the day in its wake.
The eagle cried, the ox lowed, the man ineffable
as the lion spoke:

Beware the hole of desire!

I was eighteen and passionate
about stupid things: my convertible, Florida, girls
without limits.

I waited for the wrecker.

Steve Lapinsky’s work is forthcoming from Poem, Mid-American Review and The Gettysburg Review. He received his MA in poetry from the University of Texas at Austin and his MFA in poetry from Florida State University. He currently earns his living as an adjunct English professor by day and as a sushi chef by night.