{poem} suddenly slow

I’m driving with the
windows down and the
music up so loud it drowns out
the roaring traffic, and I
sing my heart out while the wind
slips merrily through my hair and
for just this moment
I am perfect.

It slid up on me
an unwanted dance partner,
all awkward and oblivious,
catching me unawares and
unsure of how to proceed without
somehow breaking hearts,
and before I know it
I am somehow made of paper cuts
and my lemonade tears sear my skin
as I weep for what I’ve lost and
how I lost it,
without ever seeing it coming.

I hold my breath til I
turn blue
for all the good it does me,
a baby whale refusing to surface
because I’m a goddamn water mammal
what is this “breathing air” shit about?
I am out of my element and
unsure how to proceed when I
suddenly realize it’s my own heart
that I hear breaking,
crushed under the pressure
of trying not to breathe in the truth.

I turn off the car and sit still
hearing the ticks and clicks as it cools
sounds as familiar and comforting as
my own heartbeat,
and I turn off the music and
exit the car and
before I know it
I am suddenly slow.