Muscle Memory


“Muscle Memory” by Sharon Rauenzahn

My hands recall the road.  Despite the storm,
these fingers follow lines my eyes can’t see
now all the world’s gone grey; they turn the wheel
just so against the curve, make tires conform
despite the washing rain.  Just so my cheek
recalls a certain touch, that certain warm
not-quite-caress that makes my stomach wheel
in sudden rush of nerves, despite the steel
I’d thought encased my heart.  A sudden swerve:
a patch of ice, and tires lose the curve
to race, unchecked as heartbeats, spinning free
against the shoulder (will I lose my nerve?)
and back to road (familiar as the feel
of rushing water) as my hands, now weak,
recall the road, despite the tears and storm.

February 7, 1992

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