portion of the artwork for Justin Long-Moton's poetry
Dodging Traffic
Justin Long-Moton

Hands interlocked with a body
well-versed in the street’s diction—told
look both ways before crossing, envied
squirrel until it became our first lesson
in road kill. We ask the pavement about
dimensions, is it possible to inflate a flat
We’ve seen car hoods make bone
expel its marrow. To head-butt the grill
of 18 wheels is not liberation, it is faith
that someone, somewhere finds beauty
in the wreckage of you.

Red and bouncing metaphor for us,
ever shifting course of our rolling and
leaps. We are round, the chisel’s
offspring. It sprints into a tangle
of fog lights and hazard signs. Feet
respond faster than ribcage, get ahead
of self. Want to chase it, long for eyes
to lick asphalt and go. But, hesitation is
a seed that sprouts sporadically. Blood’s
paralysis is unexpected; pot holes don’t
exist until tires bleed tow truck.

Life rolls onto an empty highway—
tribulation enjoys speeding.

Fear can be uprooted. Circumstance is
not a weed to be tossed away. Dodge
what man-made. Rather chase dreams
and get hit, then stand at stop signs
waiting for them to turn green.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 36 | Spring 2012