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On Negative Capability

Whitewalls Mudflaps

Late night howling down

a dark dirt road Headlights

killed and so the world gone

black but for the two blunts

lit illuminating Jojo’s fake gold

grin   One girl each screaming

from the backseat we raced

the red moon rawdogged

the stars His mama’s car

my daddy’s gun Public Enemy

Number One Seventeen and

simple we wannabe hard-

rocks threw rudeboy fingers

and gang signs at the sky

Blinded by the hot smoke

rising like the sirens

in the subwoofers blinded

by the crotchfunk rising

from all our eager selves We

mashed in perfect murk a city

block’s length at least

toward God toward God

knows what when or why

neither Jojo nor I nor our

two dates screaming had a clue

or even care what the black

ahead held

Come road

come night come blackness

and the cold Come havoc

come mayhem Come down

God and see us Come

bloodshot moon running

alongside the ride as if

to warn us away from as if

to run us straight into some

jagged tooth and jackal-throated

roadside ditch

When Jojo

gunned the gas we pushed into

that night like a nest of sleeping

jaybirds shaken loose and

plunging Between our screams

a hush so heavy we could

almost hear what was waiting

in the dark

from Kontemporary Amerikan PoetryFind more by John Murillo at the library

Copyright © 2020 John Murillo
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in John Murillo Poems

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