Carla M. Cherry is a veteran English teacher and candidate for an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the City College of New York. Her poetry has appeared in Random Sample Review, MemoryHouse, Bop Dead City, Anti-Heroin Chic, 433, and Raising Mothers. Her five books of poetry, Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings, Thirty Dollars and a Bowl of Soup, Honeysuckle Me, These Pearls Are Real, and Stardust and Skin are available via iiPublishing.
They Tried To Race The Moon
They want their cars to dance.
All summer they have wanted the world,
this part of it anyway, as witness.
They harness us to our terraces.
We peek through blinds as they
breach silvery silence with echoes,
backfiring, revving engines
high hats, kicks, snares hammering
1 and 2 and 1 and 2 and
against our eardrums
knock us out of REM from midnight to 4 a.m.
Threaten to wrinkle our windows and walls.
Beams of headlights and stop lights like disco balls.
They back up, speed ahead, spin
steering wheels until they screech 360 degrees.
I see male bodies running, stopping,
their legs in an upside-down V,
cell phone lights flashing as they film.
Plumes of exhaust smoke float beneath the streetlights.
Peonies and chrysanthemums are fired into the sky,
straight as a string until their explosions
resound like straps on skin.
My brows and eyes crinkle
at the tire marks shaped like uncoiled snakes,
caked into the blacktop.
I wish for their addresses.
A bullhorn as they sleep.
My boyfriend laughs, calls me petty.
That’s not funny, I snap,
the teen that he was,
his car careening
around my block
has grown into the man I ask now
to cuddle me back to sleep,
one who likely whispers thanks to Olorun
and the ancestors,
that there were no phones
to capture the trail of his misdeeds.