– C.J. Cioc
On the bridge out of one city
into another city, in a sundress and sandals,
she holds her head screaming
into the line of stopped cars. I don’t remember her name.
She was running up and down the bridge, warning
each approaching car—
theres a fucking car
on fucking fire—
get off the damn bridge!
these police is retarded!
the police set up sawhorses
around the Saab’s flaming carcass. Nobody was inside, though.
We all smell the burning plastic, so we emerge
from our cars, confident to step
on to the highway bridge and walk
towards the wreck—
whose name I don’t remember
ran back up and is
chatting up the taxi driver.
I cant be stuck on this bridge, son
I gotta go home
get three hours sleep
Well, I’m a escort, so— my clients in Jersey
I’m fucking late
Yoo, you said you’re a escort,
if you ever need a cab—
If you ever got clients,
you let me know, kay?
The cab driver, smokes a cigarette with some
tired looking tow truck guys.
Yo you said your name was Muhammad, right?
I’m calling you that’s my number, there
these people are seriously stupid, like they
think we don’t know they cant
get their shit together—
mhmm, you know it, baby
There’s this big blue junk van and this big black guy
is sitting in the driver’s seat murmuring
something to his friend next to him—
they sigh heavy sighs.
Suddenly, the white headlights of hundreds of cars and trucks
rolled over red like the scales of a venomous snake,
they make k-turns, all aim their cars to traffic.
On the drive back down, all four refineries
can be seen churning out cloud, with some stars
or medivacs or planes, coursing
through their short bursts. All down the banks
and across the bridge, skinny flare stacks gasflared
and broke brown night around the wrsh
stiffly gaining speed.
C.J. Cioc is a recent graduate of Rosemont College’s MFA program in Creative Writing. His works have been featured in Rathalla Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Calliope among others. He lives in the Pocono Mountains with his family and his dog, with whom he enjoys section hiking the Appalachian Trail.