Numbers Game

for Carson P Boyd III

On that uncertain Friday night
            twenty-six years ago, I said,
“Why wait ‘til Monday? Pour the rest
            down the drain and make
that call.” He did and lived eighteen
            more years moving easily along
the northern California blue highways,
            helmet on, pedals spinning,
“up to sixty miles a day,” he’d say,
            cruising that rugged coast.
This led to the last cigarette; he
            burned the pack—an effigy
to honor life. He bought a used Porsche
            and drove that along
those same roads, not James Dean style
            this time, quieter, enjoying
the scenery, the way the wind shot through
            his hair. And when the wayward
cells arrived in his groin, lungs, brain,
            for two years he fought and fought.
Marc Swan is a writer from Portland, Maine. Over the years he has written many road-related poems, having traveled and lived in some interesting and, at times, unusual locales.