In the parking lot of the Burger King,
where the driving instructor asked me
to wait so he could run in for a coffee,
I was wishing I could trade the Honda
and New Jersey plates for a crimson
Bimmer, boyfriend, and backseat bestie.
When would I advance to on-ramps
and merges, graduate from dodging vans
full of groceries and dirt-crusted athletes,
have license to leave him and his coffee?
I wanted the four-oh-five and the road
rage thick like smog. I wanted to know
that one day I’d drive a rented SUV
in the middle lane on the San Diego Freeway
with the man I love a passenger next to me.
He’d be coaching me with updates: one mile
before the correct exit. I’d be unfamiliar
with the freeway but not afraid like Dionne,
who only realizes the importance of love
when she’s able to exit the freeway alive.
I’d appreciate directions, but they’d be more
novelty than necessity, given the navigation.