The Guy in the Cab

of this twenty-year-old truck is kicked
back like it ain’t shit that he’s being towed

on a chain somehow and banging down
Walnut Grove about 40 miles an hour.

I stare at him from the red light. Sir,
can you show me, please, to be natural

as you are, thrown out of gear, your right foot hovering
over the brake, with no cold AC, with no AM gold

from the speakers, no one to hear
you scream mayday if your pal takes the turn

too fast and you swing off toward rush hour.
I have lost something, see, am outnumbered by secrets,

I have let the fire rush to my head. Used to be I could
find Cassiopeia in November. Now I just stare

into the dark. Sir, I can learn from your racket—
me, riding shotgun, hanging on.

Aaron Brame is the former senior poetry editor at the Pinch Journal. His poetry and prose appears in Lumina, Hartskill Review, Kindred, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other places. He teaches eighth-grade English in Memphis, Tennessee.