Home > Imprisonment > If You Want Me

If You Want Me

August 10, 2011

by Ruth Foley

You can find me in the swale between
exits 4 and 5, the radio on too loud,
Tom Ashbrook asking a guest some
question he already has the answer to,
or the local college station—even
louder—playing something harder
than I could bear to live outside of, guitars
like jackhammers and drums like nail guns,
some barely post-pubescent riveter
of lyrics building, lifting, joining.

And if you find it strange—the wheels
spinning, all struts and suspension and
gray, unidentified mechanics—
it’s just as odd to me, upside-down
in the seatbelt, the sunroof open
to the ground the radio changing channels
on its own while I try to work the handles,
try to open the buckle or the buckled metal,
wanting nothing more than to tumble
out onto the wet spring grass and last
year’s leaves, someone’s empty crumple
of fast food. If you want me, I’ll be
the one with the acrid silk of gasoline
mixing with blood on my skin, the strangers’
hands, the swiftly spinning sky.

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Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her recent work is appearing or forthcoming in River Styx, Measure, The Ghazal Page and Umbrella, which just nominated one of her poems for a Pushcart Prize. She also serves as Associate Poetry Editor for Cider Press Review.

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  1. Carol Berg
    August 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    What a fantastic poem…I love how the title sets us up for something completely different.

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