by Shaun McMichael
Driving home in the deluge,
a deluge inside is driving me,
unknown at work, unknown by the other drivers,
unknown by the cold, carrying claws of my car—
one in a school of steel pods surging like steel-
head in a current, arching with the bridge
over the waters, breaking in pulses
of red light and despair, each car, a fish
encasing an unknown soul. Voices.
Invisible waves bring young voices.
Enduring through the downpour, they sing
in a language they do not know
about a Christmas tree.
I can smell the incense of its boughs
and see its baubles, though in the deluge,
I can no longer see the road.
There’s a gridlock of the heart
that persists when the cars have all come home.
A cathedral looms. The moon shines
through its arched windows. The fallen
rain has settled into its walls. Inside is a silence
that the songs do not deny
Even after we’ve turned off our engines
and our lights, and the highway
is a dry riverbed running through ruins,
we are all trying to get there
in time to hear the silence
which we believe is the hush before a song
in which each of our voices can flow,
carried, driving. In unison,
heard and known.