How Long Could I Have Been Weightless?

After the smooth up-pull the car dove fish-efficient in the tractor-trailer’s wake. By then the thick wheel cuts had tapered down the long, curved grade then vanished, leaving undulations in the drifts. All the way from Montreal through French-toned Vermont we’d held to mostly all alone through night-time Massachusetts, the Berkshires rhythmic now, the rise and fall of roadways lunglike, up and down, the black outside squelching with each splat. The snow fell lazy-seeming but the mass had force to it, a will thrust like those of sea currents, and in the down rush the car’s back end began to flex. The side-muscling came in series, ripples, quivers, pulse, and I was in it counter steering while the coffee spilled in the careening into, through, and out of, what the frost-dimmed lights could see: all murk then, the whole world untrustworthy, murk and splat, and splat and speed, and ridges: the helm backlit by dials, my fingers and their grips, the road itself a reef and I was skidding, skidding — tread and road unbonded into flight. How long could I have been weightless? Does it matter now? I reach now to recall what flew by me: trees in kelp shadow, gelid embankments snow shoals, formations of a world so much like ours, just under water, glimpse of where we’re headed by degree. Four wheels on the snow again, clutching, shifting, easing down compression bracing on momentum’s rush I saw it: deep snow swashed in fan pattern to the breadth of the road the white rig turned over, red stamp on the side of it: strike of harpoon. What fluke of luck had saved me? Which flake launched me to air/water, racing my breathing, slowing me down?

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