WC80 – James White Poetry Prize – Finalist

Jeremy Halinen
Finalist for the 2009 White Crane / James White Poetry Prize

Afternoons Above I-5 by Jeremy Halinen

We used to drop acid
and sit on the overpass
to watch the dragon faces
the cars would make at us
as they raced
beneath our dangling legs.
Cars like it when you’re high enough
above them to notice
more than their surfaces.
It’s the story of their exhaust
they want you to care about,
not their paint jobs
or the treads
on their tires. They want you to lean down
and touch them.
Halinen-photo I know what you’re thinking.
It’s dangerous,
what we used to do. But
the cars told us they’d catch us if we fell.
You say, So what if they did?
And you’re right.
There’s always a catch.

Jeremy Halinen is a coeditor and cofounder of Knockout Literary Magazine. Some of his recent poems appear in Arroyo Literary Review; Best Gay Poetry 2008; Dos Passos Review; OCHO, Pontoon: An Anthology of Washington State Poets; and Rio Grande Review. He holds a MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University, where he served as poetry editor of Willow Springs. He resides in Seattle.

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