In her own words...

"For Instance"


take a boy on a motorcycle
feeling powerful.
He has achieved the status
of the boy on the motorcycle.

Only something
is not quite right.

He rides it like yes,
in and out, back and forth
like day after day, all okay.
That's just what's the matter,

like nothing happens.
So when he gets home,

turns on the TV, there he is:
motorcycle, hard hat, same kind
of guys like himself,
really like himself.

Then and there
things happen

like he's riding along --
someone takes a shot
at him then all hell
breaks loose.

He guns the pedal,
rides that thing

leaning at a forty-five degree
angle around curves, hot after the drug lord,
killer, terrorist
crashing through windows,

jumping barricades;
he rides, rides and rides.

As everyone knows
dreams come true?
But you have to
dream them first.


About this work

“For Instance” was published in Ploughshares, Vol. 28, no. 4 (Winter 2002-03), pp. 182-183.  It is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, Coming to That: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2011, pp. 42-43, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.