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by Brian Swann

A woman was in the back seat, or the passenger’s seat. The windows clouded up. He asked her to get out and check whether it was grease or ice. She opened the door and cold air set the teeth chattering. With her guitar-player’s fingernails she chipped at the coated windshield and called out that it was ice.

She got back in and, blind still, having done nothing more than ascertain the composition of the crud, they ran smack into snow drifts. The next thing they knew, they were sliding backwards out of control down a back road.

As they slid they talked about the cooling systems of the car, and it was pointed out that fresh cool air was constantly circulating by means of an appendage on the bonnet, something like a wen in front of the windscreen.

They talked of cooling a car that was increasing its rearward speed and getting colder and colder.


Brian Swann has a book, Whale Scars, also from New Rivers Press and is represented in Dan Halpern’s The American Poetry Anthology (Avon Books). (Spring 1975)

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