We did what anyone would do.
We got in your car, the ride ahead of us,
Leather seats kissed with the warm-worn night.
You drove us. The lights went in lines overhead
And picking up speed, spiralled into the universe:
Amber, umber, amber, danced out of sight.
We could have gone anywhere. I couldn’t think
How frightening fast we flew. Dark night,
Street lights eddied. The windows open
And freedom unravelled us, rolled through our hair,
Sent smoke streaming out into rogue nothingness.
We did what no-one would do.
That roar of the window wind, rustled insistent,
Swift whisper of Us, us, us, us, us, us.
And I believed every word as we drove in silence.
You and me, like runaways, kept on going.
I didn’t know where we were heading. You drove us.
This is for Blair. I remember when we first met in the autumn, and how we drove: through cities, across vast country lanes in the dead of night. He drove us to friends’ houses for parties and gatherings. He took me to meet his parents, his family, his past. The evening drives were the best. Him at the wheel, me in the passenger seat catching glimpses of him while his eyes were on the road. I remember feeling both safe and alive: windswept and still, and utterly in love.
Eight months later, and he has sold the car: largely because we thought we would be moving to London, because of my career prospects. He sold it, as part of my dream. And I regret that, now. I’ll make it up to you one day, my love.
But I am very happy to say that I still feel the way this poem describes, all the time, just being with Blair. Wouldn’t you know it? The car was always a metaphor for something else. It’s all symbolism, man.
Stylistically this one doesn’t stand much scrutiny: but I’m very fond of it. Thematically Tracey Chapman’s Fast Car had a hand in this as well, as hopefully some of you may have noticed.