Stop and Go

The back of the faded jade Mercedes was a breviary of skepticism.
240D in the left margin above the tail-light and DIE right-margined
obviously missing SEL but for some reason the absence seemed to fit.
Centered between those two was the three-pronged star logo, which
represents the Benz dominance of land, sea, and air, but one prong
was only half-there; sustained dominance is always a fragile thing.
Snuggled up all nice and tight on either side of the CO license place
were two ichthus fish (the kind Jesus caught) but one had the word
DARWIN inside it with little evolving feet underneath and the other
had the word ALIEN inside it, this one with no traces of locomotion
at all. But the pièces de résistance had to be two bumper stickers,
logically on the bumper, the first barely readable like chipped paint
on an eave – RESIST AUTHORITY – and the second as fresh as dew,
like it was just purchased moments ago and applied right on the spot –
DON’T TAKE AWAY SOMEONE’S HOPE, IT MAY BE ALL THEY HAVE.
Our eyes met in her rearview mirror and the broad-shouldered 
red-head winked at me. Not knowing what else to do, I smiled in return
as a gesture of hope. It was all I had, and quite possibly all she needed.
When things turned green she gunned it, black-exhausting me back
into my usual quotidian commute of women and men who interpret life
too literally and therefore rarely wink and so are aliens to life, never
evolving the little feet necessary to carry them toward all we have.

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4 Comments

  1. figarobo on August 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    It’s amazing what you see when you pay attention. Great work!

  2. Diana Trautwein on August 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Sigh. Yes.

  3. Wes on August 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Mr. John–You are a word painter and more. I recommend you to my friends. Thanks!

  4. sethhaines on August 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I really like the way you play with the contradictions in this piece. And I reckon your conclusion will cause a bit of cognitive dissonance for some, but I love the richness of the irony.

    This one has the feeling of being very carefully crafted. It paid off.

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