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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 3: May 2020
Prose Poem: 163 words
By Theresa Coty O’Neil

El Camino

 

We did not die. Though I imagine your long, reedy body laid out at VanderRink’s, casket padded in white satin, scallop-edged like a baby’s bassinet. You wear the sky blue tuxedo from prom, so reposed I could lay down beside you. We did not die. Though how easily we could have, 95 miles an hour down long country roads in your buffed black El Camino, our perfect speeding hearse. Once we careened past a Montrose school bus, its whir of pale faces, the angry bray of a horn, and I still feel the flip of my heart, ribs locking to contain the explosions. We did not die and thought we were living by testing vibrations of trains on tracks, cutting curves at mach speed, hurdling over mossy creeks to measure gravity and grace. We did not die and still said please and thank you and see you tomorrow.

From your rearview
mirror, St. Christopher,
that Patron Saint
of Travelers, keeps time.

 

Theresa Coty O’Neil
Issue 3, May 2020

is a freelance writer, writing teacher, and editor. A founding fiction editor of Third Coast Magazine, she has had works published in Alaska Quarterly Review, West Branch, Gravel, and The Bridge.

 
 
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