SELF-PORTRAIT AS TOM CRUISE RUNNING
My hands slice the air between us into increasingly smaller portions.
The asphalt beneath my feet buckles
under the heat of various explosions.
This city burns.
It’s my job to save the world
from the possibility that we do not exist—
every sky has the stars it deserves.
Surely by now you’ve learned not to expect grace.
I am hand grenade with the pin pulled,
trigger without warning,
the glow at the end of your cigarette
as you stand in an alley at the back door of a bar
on a humid Tuscaloosa night,
the small of your back slick with sweat
your skin flushed and my arms on your mind.
My knees piston ostentatiously,
I close another gap, another.
The blasts are getting closer.
Eyes forward. Refuse to look back.
There is no other escape plan.