Loves company

It’s human nature to seek
the short cut, the cool side

of the pillow, the nearest cave
with dimmed lights and no noise

when the sledgehammers of everyday
despair return to their favorite

construction sites in the brain.
But it’s also human nature to want

to know who else might be in a similar
or maybe slightly worse predicament:

to slow down as you drive past the truck
that flipped over this morning at the inter-

section of Hampton and Bolling, the engine
visibly steaming, blue lights and sirens

blaring toward the scene. Don’t look,
my father might have said that day

years ago as we passed the mangled heap
of a pedicab hit by a bus on the highway,

the driver’s body flung across the ditch—
fearful that the sight of blood and mortal

wounding might undermine my faith
in the world. And then there are those

who leap out of their own vehicles, run
straight into the accident site, go down

on hands and knees, searching through
broken glass for any visible signs of life.

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