the work and personal site of Jared Alessandroni

For B

Don’t Stay There

You can stay in the lane
For a bit, if it makes sense.
But there’s a car merging in,
And he’s going to want this space
So get out!

Merge out, Brie!
And I fear the shudder
And the tilt
As the car makes a
Jarring turn into the middle lane
And the very real possibility
That she didn’t look
When she looked
To see if the lane was clear.

But there is no shudder.
She stays in the lane,
I press the invisible
Imaginary brake pedal at my feet,
Wondering when she’s going to
Merge left.
Until I realize she’s not
Going anywhere.

So I say,
Why are you still here?
And she responds
That it’s safer in the
Right lane.
That it’s slower and she
Feels more comfortable.

The truck rears a little
As she slams the breaks
Realizing almost too late that the
Car in front was not going that fast.
Then we’re okay for a second.

I want to say
Well, that doesn’t feel
Very safe.
But I think about
What to say so that
She won’t clench her fists
Crush her body
And look vacantly out
For the rest of the
Driving lesson.

So I say
It’s not better
In the right lane.
It seems like it should be,
Since you’re never speeding,
And you’re always closer
To the exit.

But if you stay,
You’ll be stuck here with all
Those who need this space to merge
Into greater things
And worse,
Those who
Never will.

Don’t ever avoid
Pushing a bit harder on the gas.
Don’t dodge
The catching up
Or the moving past.

Sometimes we fear
A high speed death
More than
A slow life.

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