David Armand

We're driving across the Causeway,
twenty-four miles over black water,
and making our way to New Orleans
for a late-night Mardi Gras parade
when a car passes us on our left
and the passenger flicks a cigarette
out the window. It hits our windshield
and a slew of orange sparks spreads
over the glass like a puff of snow.

From the back seat, we hear our dad
cursing and then see the orange tip
of the push-button lighter as he lights
his own cigarette and starts puffing
on it wildly. He's speeding up the car,
trying to catch the one that just passed,
our mom pulling on his arm for him
to slow down before he gets us killed.

When he finally catches up to them,
he rolls down the window, the rush
of air coming in cold and with rain,
and then he flicks his own cigarette
out at the car that just passed us.
Revenge. The driver and passenger
look confused as the orange sparks
bloom over their hood now, and die.
Then we slow back down, headlights
from the cars behind us growing smaller
and smaller in our rearview mirrors
as the lake on either side spreads out
flat as a fallow field in autumn.

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