Their quarrel sent them reeling from the house. Anything, just get on the road and get away. Driven out, they drove. . . miles into countryside, confined and bickering, then cold, polite; she read a book, or looked out at hillside pastures; once, faraway life came close, and they stopped in mist for muddy, slow cows at a crossing, then, tilted, shuddering, a tractor came across; coldly silent other hours of trees after trees interspersed with straggling villages--then hot; her voice pulsing, tempestuous, against the dash, buffeted, blew up; the slammed her hand down, hard. "You let it happen--you know you did. And you make me the bad one--all the time! I won't stand for it another second." And then, irrationally, "Look at me, I'm talking to you!" What half-faced her was mulish, scolded sullenness --who gripped the wheel and to scare her drove faster, scaring himself; he felt out of control, dangerous. Downhill, the road darkened, dropped out of sight. At the bottom, racing toward them, three lights, and trees. . . . Remember this, remember this, she thought, the last thing I will ever see. Diner, tavern, café, whatever it was. The car spun suddenly into the parking lot. She grabbed at the key, threw it out. Shaken, they sat --while their momentum went on raging down the road. They knew they might have been killed--by each other, had someone been up to just one more dare.
From Beautiful False Things: Poems by Irving Feldman, published by Grove Press. Copyright © 2000 by Irving Feldman. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.