Gasoline Cathartic, a poem by David J. Roussel at
Cara Beth Buie

Gasoline Cathartic

Gasoline Cathartic

written by: David J. Roussel



Start the engine.
Sit there.
Let it run.
Let it get warm,
as you adjust the mirrors,
the seat,
the stereo.
Adjust everything.
Now It’s time.

Put it in reverse
and back out of the driveway,
This is where you realize
your heart controls your foot
and you ease it back,
until you’re pointing down the road.

Put it in gear
and the fact that you don’t
launch this metal missile
like a moon rocket
breaking Earth’s gravity
is damned impressive.
You just idle it,
down the street,
watching for kids playing.

A few more stop-and-turns
and it’s almost time.
A few more exits
and the pace is growing.
The mind has held,
but man,
it breaks,
when you turn on the stereo
and suddenly,
the heart takes over.

Clear sky,
or rain.
Night or day.
It doesn’t matter.
Emotion grips the wheel
and pain and anger
run the throttle
and the volume
with the same abandon.

Deep down,
you and the vehicle are both
internal combustion engines;
burning old things
and turning them into raw power.

The world blurs
and maybe there’s yelling,
and maybe there’s tears,
and maybe,
right now,
that’s all necessary.

There are no cops,
this time,
without a destination,
you ride,
until either the fuel,
or the music,
or the tears
run out.

Black top church.
350 horse power confessional,
Alpine Audio gospel choir,
but no pastor.
Just the open road,
the sky
and the truth.

If it’s ever time to go home,
you’ll turn around,
but sometimes,
we all just want to keep driving;
abandon everything.

Who we are,
where we’ve been;
leave all that pain
in the rear-view mirror;
but not this time.
This time,
you find the exit
that takes you back home.

Latest posts by David J. Roussel (see all)