thoughts while learning to drive

stop before the sign, then inch forward


don’t hit the pedestrian

hold the wheel firm and strong

don’t crash into the neighbour’s car

make up your mind

have a plan before you go

don’t half-ass it, drop out 

before the finish line

’cause there’s no time for being nervous

now you’re out on the road

now the cars are piled up behind you

pull over, they’ve all got somewhere to go

don’t panic and don’t cry

you are not three years old

just keep your eyes on the horizon

indicate before turning and look where you want to go

and maybe if i try hard enough

mimic the way she holds her head

then i’ll stop feeling crazy

then i’ll stop feeling weak

do not hesitate

do not falter

smooth motions; no stomping on the brakes

maybe if i did yoga

or got better grades

maybe if i tried another medication

until i’m all out of brand names

maybe if i took up running

cold showers

maybe if i acted like the other kids

take the car out of park, reverse, 

then shift into drive

don’t scratch the paint

don’t drive into the thorns

i’ve spent my whole life wishing i could be in control

but now it’s here, i’m sitting behind the wheel

and i still feel like i’m eleven years old

no wait i’m twenty-five

pull over for the car behind you

don’t park near the traffic

scratch that, just get out of this alive

’cause now i’m sixteen and

it doesn’t feel like a movie

but it definitely isn’t real

soft feather-fingertips and frost on the glass

the new year’s coming

brake slowly after easing off the gas

I’ve been learning to drive. It’s exhilarating, and really scary too Sixteen is a weird age to be.

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