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Speed Limit

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In your 2004 Honda Civic,

I learned how to let hope
die on my tongue
The baby steps of an anxiety ridden youth
erased with each new mile on your odometer

You'd offer me Altoids,
and I’d shove a handful in my mouth,
hoping that maybe
they'd make my jokes
as bitingly cool as yours were.

We’d park that death trap
and eat s***ty Chinese food.
I’d smile as you’d mock me for barely making a dent,
not knowing
that I hadn't eaten in 3 days.

I'd steal a napkin from your glove box stash
to wipe the tears that I claimed
were from laughing too hard.
And I would pray to your dashboard Jesus
that I wouldn't slip up again.

When we’d fly down North Shore back streets,
my head out the sunroof
and your speakers blaring,
I’d claim that I'd never felt so alive
as I wished we’d skid off the road.

We were pushing 80 in a 25 zone
when I realized that this
was no joy ride
and that I had never worn a seat belt
when I was inside your car.




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