He can see her up there,
standing on the very top of the hill,
her silhouette flat against the exploding sun.
The highway behind him holds
his red car pulled over
with its doors wide on hinges,
engine still running in cylinder circles.
He stands at the bottom of the hill and
her body is so close to the sun.
Her name takes up his entire chest
just before he screams it,
She sways, the sun singes his sound,
he turns in panic circles,
but there is no one for miles
Come back to the car! Let’s keep driving!
He runs but she is no closer,
sweat and delirium but she is no closer.
She, most brilliant,
Annie, the most severe flame
as she leans toward burning
Words do nothing,
there is no shape to the sun and
no shape to her shimmer
as Annie bursts into flame.
The bottoms of the clouds blacken
as they dirty from her rising smoke.
He turns back to the highway,
and his red car is different now:
torn and ripped,
half-stuck under semi-truck,
windshield spread across pavement,
shards reflecting tiny skies.
And so many of them
in fire trucks and black-and-whites
surrounding the crushed car
with their spinning lights.
His throat starts a yell
that begins and ends
with the first letter of her name.
And how beautiful the last rays of sunlight look
as they push up against the two white sheets
being placed over the two rearranged bodies
that look so familiar
as they are pulled from the wreck.
And asleep in the hospital
he feels like an echo
forever searching for its original sound,
for its orginal sound, he feels like an echo,
asleep in the hospital.