Artisan Donuts in a CVS Parking Lot

 
 
 
This is the only way I can love anyone anymore:

in circles of scorched rubber and metal,

 

      my back a refraction out the open window,

      an English Ivy hand strangling my neckline.

 

This time the hand is your hand, the white

knuckle panic too, your voice carrying over

 

      manufactured wind; Aren’t you afraid of anything?

      Of course. There are the standard things: rabid dogs,

 

the IRS, leaving the iron on, losing my credit card, my

keys, my mind, but there’s no one to put the fear of God

 

      in me tonight. This is all about trust, as in: I trust

      you’ll hold me tighter than any woman who’s come

 

before me. And we’ll call this love and laugh, choke on speed

and asphalt fumes, and after I abandon you, you’ll do

 

      more dangerous shit—jay walk, have unprotected sex

      with strangers, eat raw shellfish, Zumba—

 

and you’ll love it until you’re inevitably wounded. Then

you’ll curse my name. But we’re not there, not yet. I’m just

 

      a sweet arc bathed in parking lot lights and you’ve never

      been more excited. In a few minutes there will be no

 

tires; the polka will end. Last call then, a death wish skidding

off my tongue: Go faster baby, I just need you to go faster.

 
 
 

 
 
 

Tafisha A. Edwards is the author of THE BLOODLET, winner of Phantom Books’ 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize. Her work has appeared in Bettering American Poetry, The Offing, PHANTOM, The Atlas Review, Bodega Magazine, Fjords Review, The Little Patuxent Review, and other print and online publications. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Jiminéz-Porter Writers’ House, a Cave Canem Graduate fellow, and a former educator with the American Poetry Museum. She is the recipient of a Zoland Poetry Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and has received scholarships to The Juniper Summer Writing Institute, The Minnesota Northwoods Writers’ Conference and other writing workshops and conferences. She is currently writing her first collection of poetry RIOT/ACT and has found a new, very flattering shade of red lipstick to wear.