Daily Archives: February 27, 2010

The Breakdown

when the hose fails
and leaking antifreeze
pours greasy green
onto the snowy roadside

when the cold crunches
inside your nose
as you wait for the tow
that is forty -five minutes off

when you try to calculate
how much damage this will do
to your rent still in arrears
but your fingers are too numb to count

when you’d cry if you could
but you’re cried out
when you’re alone and cold
and there’s no art in your thoughts

except for the simple art
of fixing a hose in the dark with no tape
or replacement coolant
the art you’d wished you had learned

and prepared for in advance
but it’s too late and you’re stuck
awaiting the mercy of a better artist
when he comes and shows you mastery

this is no time for you to slink
into a blank book and create a world
where things like this don’t happen
to anyone particularly like you

but there are people out here
who will lay down money to bet
that this is exactly what you will do
that you will make something precious of it

if you ever get out of here
without frostbite or breakdown
and return to your insulated life
full of what ifs and should haves

and that it will happen again
and more than once
because you only ever learn enough
to arm your self against aftermath

never enough to prevent the disaster
never enough to stop the leaks
from occurring
never enough to be anything but useless

for any practical life

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