Rebecca Foust


after the record in People v. Vandross

the olive tree that dropped its great gout
of dark fruit onto asphalt, for the swerve
and spinout etched in fresh virgin press;
blame the natural law that made helpless
bodies attract and collide then come to rest
in the acacia-treed canyon. The driver sat
behind the wheel, side not pierced—not yet.
Yes he was drunk, but only with joy
for the lovely lithe boy now fused with the car,
shrink-wrapped in leather and steel
and veiled by the webbed windshield; the boy
who sang backup gospel like a bruised angel
and was the hope of his whole Bronx block.
Blame the last bright note that opened his throat
and sank into pollen and dust.