What I Might Have Been If I Had Been There

by JC Bouchard

JC Bouchard’s poetry has appeared in Arc, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Hart House Review (Winter Supplement), and untetheredHe is the author of two chapbooks: Portraits (In/Words Press) and WOOL WATER (words(on)pages press). He lives in Toronto.

 

With you in the front cab, the windows up
cigarette smoke filling the red canvas seats,
radio turned up loud to any song by Journey
which I might have known you liked if I had
known you. If I had been there with your seat-
belt undone, empty cans of Molson Canadian
and some thought about what you would see
if you had made it through. If I had been there,
wings of crickets and fireflies headed straight
for us, the mines both hid behind and beyond
only one more day’s drive home. What I may
have been if I had told you how I wanted to be.
We could have at least bled together, bent cut
metal with our faces in awe-struck guises our
arms frozen by headlights and I could have woke
you before the smoke or the horn of a semi with
no one in the cab but a driver, alone like you. If
I had been there to fall with you as it struck our
tin-can chassis as the wheels jack-knifed and
our heads broke just above our necks and the
crushed grass stamped in hot engines, our legs
snapped behind our backs and the blue-red
gyroscope sirens like party lights. If I had talked
you out of sleep I would not be here living my
life without you, partly saved to remember us.

 


JC Bouchard’s poetry has appeared in Arc, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Hart House Review (Winter Supplement), and untetheredHe is the author of two chapbooks: Portraits (In/Words Press) and WOOL WATER (words(on)pages press). He lives in Toronto.

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