Pamela Hart, a former journalist, is writer in residence at the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY. Her chapbook, The End of the Body, was published in 2006 by toadlily press. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been published in journals like Kalliope, Rattappalax, and Lumina, and online at qarrtsiluni.
I am the rapture of denied closure.
We're stuck in traffica clogged mess of van and truck
slogging toward the abandon beyond the backup
to the GW Bridgeand on my son's iPod
a comedian I don't know riffs on Kool Aid
and love in bursts of shout and hum
and maybe it's the day-long headache behind my eyes like car horns
on each socket but I've never laughed so hard.
My passengers too, our guffaws unguarded,
breaking us open.
Our armature wants to defend
against disclosure but tonight the comic is unrelenting.
Where's this guy from I ask, his twang
stretching the vowels as if they were long fly balls
to an outfield like the one lit up near us –
he's playing prophet, ecstatic slapstick a divination,
humor and rant unbridled, splitting our sides here in the car in traffic.
in the wedge of hesitate-laugh,
hands on the wheel, caught
in the awkward chuckle of mini-vans and SUVs
that chortles along the Deegan, apocryphal in its lack
of movement because isn't this the place
to be foreverstuck in traffic and hilarity?
I turn to look at their faceswide sand dunes
spilling toward the waves we surf in August's afternoon light
here, I think keep us stranded
in this endless line of no closure
a sequence of voice and engine
this rev and fall, this variation on a theme. I don't care
about resolution, let there not be outcome or upshot,
leave me with their faces open and lifting
(joy) I nearly speak out loud.
If there's meaning to this bumper-stickered word
it's here among cup holder and fogged windows.
But the rapture
I mean to want
to hold on to
isn't as resolute as the comic who won't let go
of the line he's playing out as long as the audience allows.
The traffic surges
and I hurry along
the interstate, miles to drive.