by Karen Stromberg

    He was crossing Mission Valley on 805,
    his car full of everything he owned.
    His third live-in girlfriend had thrown him out
    for not caring that she cared; so,
    when his cell phone went dead, and the car-cassette
    vomited several yards of Steven King,
    he stopped seeing the point of anything.
    He laid his head on the steering wheel,
    and the car scraped to a stop along a concrete wall.
    The wrong cop showed up,
    the one who always went by the book,
    but could never read a situation.
    "Think," she said, "of what you'd be giving up.
    Think of all those things you love."
    He thought about it, sitting cross-legged
    on the roof of his car, his jacket
    flaring up behind him like a parachute.
    He stared down at the three underpasses
    tangled beneath him.
    There wasn't one thing that he loved.
    He stood and let the wind push him off the bridge.
    He heard the long wail of a car horn
    following him down--and then it stopped;
    and in that speck of silence, suddenly,
    and to his surprise,
    he fell in love with life so hard
    he burst out laughing.

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