In an alternate universe,
the hitchhiker has a gun to my head
while I go down on him.
I remember something like this before but
the door closes like it always does.
Before I left, Mama and Leslie said,
“Please don’t pick up hitchhikers, OK?” but
here we are again, his knife pressed
to my throat. It’s funny, he’s
going to and I’m running from.
In this universe, I think I have an oil leak and I see
the “I Love Baseball” bumper sticker on
the van ahead as I drive. He’s young, clean,
and we talk: he’s saving money
to move to Portland with his girlfriend,
his truck is in the shop so
he needs a ride to the next town
for a job interview at his buddy’s
father’s construction company and all I see
in the seat beside me is a figure with red hair.
Maybe he’ll kill me this time, maybe he won’t.
He says "Thank you," closes the door
and I watch him on the dirt road in
the rear view mirror.
He owns the world,
him and his kind.
And I drive
through it all.