He down shifted the Opal from third to second
As they approached the intersection of Hooker Road
And Arlington Blvd, swiveling his neck in an instant
Assessment as they sped on through the red light.
You crazy son of a bitch, his roommate hollered,
Fighting the hot summer wind to re-light a half-burned joint.
He was late; they had spent too much time arguing,
Then fighting after the intramural softball game,
And now his model would be waiting at the house,
The art class project due in the morning.
Two more run lights and a near crash at Elm and 5th
And he skidded to a stop on Avery Street,
Clattering in his cleats down the sidewalk,
Smiling at her with his busted lip and reaching out
His bloody-knuckled hand; thank you so much
For waiting, he said in his puppy dog voice;
Her hand held the green nightgown she’d picked out
For this portrait he’d promised to copy for her
Boyfriend, and her beautiful face had the dark
Worried look he would draw without the mark
He left there when she first refused to strip.
His roommate listened to them fight for the hour
It took the bong hits to do their work;
He’d heard it all before.