Deja Vu In Texas

by Jonathan Moody


The AC in our Altima has conked
out; the perpetual prayer of your
breathing fogs up all the windows.
If your eyelids weren’t fluttering
from sleep, I wouldn’t be changing
the station. You only dig music
you can sing to: Fontella Bass;
Otis Redding; Yolanda Adams.
Not instrumentals. On Holly Hall
& Knight Rd, the traffic is governed
by metronomes of yellow blinking
lights. A young man with a baseball
bat spits phlegm on the street, smashes
in the windshield of a green Sable
that cut him off. Does your body jerk
from the commotion, or because
the seatbelt is a python choking your
neck? I’ve asked these questions
before in a dream: you’re wiping
the trail of saliva from your cheek
as you did then, & the raccoon
is right by the Mexican storefront
nibbling on brown heads of lettuce.
“What’s this song on the radio?”
you ask. “It’s ‘A Night in Tunisia’,”
I say. “Dizzy Gillespie composed
it in this very state on the bottom
of a garbage can.” “Oh, is he the one
whose mother wouldn’t allow any
jazz to be played at his funeral?
Wait, that was ‘Bird’, right?”
“Roll your up window. Roll your
window up,” I say. “There’s
a woman inside that Sable
who’ll open fire any second now.”