Stalled
by Billy Internicola



Friday night,
Queens-bound on the Belt Parkway
in our shitty Mercury Topaz, and
the piece of shit's, shit engine
stalled and wouldn't turn over again.
My mother sat, slamming her hands against the wheel
awkwardly, not to crack her long red nails
and cried.
I sat in the passenger's seat yelling at her,
yelling that she had to tell me what to do
while my younger sister started sobbing in the backseat.
A seemingly endless line of cars
slowed or stopped behind us,
I remember thinking:
"This fucking shit is messing up
the whole fucking traffic situation
of fucking New York City."
I imagined DJs across the city
warning people to avoid the Belt Parkway
because of my mother .
I'd have hell to pay at school for this.
They would just smell my involvement in it.
Meanwhile we did nothing-
cars honking at us cruelly from behind.
I picture her on that night , although I couldn't then,
locked in the bathroom, viciously nervous,
popping the pinks out of their shiny foils,
swallowing and swallowing and swallowing
hoping to shit away a whole inventory of pain
hoping that her nerves would atrophy
hoping that if you're dead
your shitty car doesn't stall on the Belt Parkway
leaving you helpless.






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