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On Central

In an old blue car

She stared straight ahead

Her fingers gripped the steering wheel

Her blond hair curled down her shoulders

Those shoulders tense with fear or anger

The guy beside her was yelling

“Why did you say that?”

“I can’t believe you said that.”

What were you thinking, you bitch.”

He leaned in toward her

Menacing, he stayed there for a second

Looking at her profile

I saw her breathing become shallow

She still stared at the red light

That held us both captive at the light

On Central in Albuquerque

I rolled down my window

To see if the motion caught her eye

She side glanced at me

I mouthed, “Help?”

She shook her head ever so slightly, no.

She gazed at the light again

Tightening her grip on the steering wheel

He was still yelling.

Red turned to green

She held the petal down

The tires screamed

The car jerked

And roared down the street

I can’t forget her profile

And wondered what happened

In that moment of anger

In the space of the time

It took to change lights

On Central

In Albuquerque