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The Flash

Constructing a personal myth is difficult
For someone whose most notable achievement
Was not dying once, at the age of seven.
But there I was head lying six inches from
The front wheel of a car on the highway.
I don't remember the impact or the wheel -
Only clumsily floating to the back of the car
Where warm tourniquets of hands left my arms
And legs suddenly ringed by bracelets of cold.
The hero was unconscious after pretending he was
Superman or The Flash, racing from friends
On one side of the road to impress girls on the other side.
A car just missed on first crossing and bellowed
A dopplerian cry helplessly away. The trip back
Was one too many kicks at the can
And this screeching can kicked back.

My mother told me I dented the fender
With my stubborn head. One of the witnesses
(Days later) said I dented the bumper.
She was, like me, at an impressionable age.
Years later, one guy told me he was glad
My face and neck had healed from going
Through the windshield. And last year
Someone I hadn't seen since then introduced me
As the only guy he'd ever seen rolled over by a car.
Funny how my near-death is not my own,
Nor does it settle into the amoral spaces
Of a police report because witnesses blame me,
The driver, the speed limits, the car, the road,
The late evening sun, or the kids who dared me.

When will I feel the full impact of that car?
Someday I expect to meet another old friend
Who'll tell me I tumbled right over the hood and roof,
Landing on my feet. Or maybe one who'll be so old
He won't recognize me and will reminisce
About a friend of ours named Jocko who died
For a moment that day and came face to face with God
Who was too surprised to get out of the way.
All I remember was no heaven, no myths, no pain,
No concern - only muffled silence that is all the flashing
Spaces between moments no one is ever quick enough
To slip between. So I suppose that friend of mine
I've yet to re-meet would be right.