“Ten and Two” by Melanie Perish

“Rapture in the Postmodern Era” by Sydney McKenna, Oil on canvas, 60″ x 62″

In the first year, even after
she worked the steps
love was crazy as
driving under the influence.

Like that time the car started to slide,
slide across the double yellow lines
into the on-coming lane;
and she couldn’t remember which way
to turn the wheel.

No time for prayer beyond
God help me.
Her right foot down once
down twice on the brake,
then lifted, so her heart
could catch up.

Black gloved hands at ten and two
turned the wheel
toward the spin
out of hope the size of a tear drop
while life moved in geologic time.

When the spin stopped
the car pointed in the right direction
in its own lane; and again
she lived by minutes and inches.
With the car, with any new person
she could have sworn
she was going slowly enough.


Melanie Perish lives in Reno, NV and commutes regularly to Bryan, TX, Northern, CA, and Santa Fe, NM.  She is a member of Poets & Writers and Alcoholics Anonymous. She is old and sometimes crabby and does not care that she’s just broken her anonymity.  Her poems have recently appeared in the Austin International Poetry Festival anthology, DiversityThe Avocet, Brushfire, and Emerging Poets (Z-Publishing, 2018). Her poetry collection Passions & Gratitudes was published by Black Rock Press in 2011. She is currently working on a second collection. She is grateful for the generosity of other poets and writers, her history with women’s writing workshops, her online writers exchange, and the current poetry workshops she participates in. She is indebted to small press publications, little magazines, and on-line publications because she knows how much effort these require.