Love is a souped-up Chevy with Cupid at the wheel. Not street-legal and it never
slows down. A one-handed driver, the other hand sliding up your thigh. Love
knows no bounds—underage and too old to get behind the wheel. It’s a moving
violation, driving under the influence, without a license. A side-swiping, heart-
stealing machine that knocks you to your knees. And when love runs you over, it
backs up and hits you again. Here come the cops, sirens wailing the blues, but
love’s way out ahead, burning bridges in its wake. Love speeds in construction
zones and pays no fines, no jail can hold it. Love swerves, takes curves too fast.
Guns its engine at red lights, always overheating. Love dumps you when it’s done
with you, leaves you spinning in the dust. And love leaves the scene of the crime.
But you love love. You wouldn’t have it any other way.
—Tracy Mishkin (Marion County)
This poem is from The Night I Quit Flossing (Five Oaks Press, 2016).
Photo by Martin Ruelas
Tracy Mishkin is a call center veteran with a PhD and an MFA student in Creative Writing at Butler University. She is the author of two chapbooks, I Almost Didn’t Make It to McDonald’s (Finishing Line Press, 2014) and The Night I Quit Flossing (Five Oaks Press, 2016). Her poems have been published in Raleigh Review and Little Patuxent Review, and she has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize by Parody.
Poetry Prompt: Extending the Metaphor
Define an emotion or personality trait by comparing it to something concrete—something you might ride in, wear on your head, keep in your closet, feed and take for walks, hear on the radio, plant in your garden, carry in a purse, etc. Have fun seeing how long you can sustain your definition. Use strong, active verbs.
Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem and prompt every day in April. Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner selected these poems and wrote the prompts.