Warning: Do Not Cry & Drive
   by Karen Paul Holmes Karen Paul Holmes

Karen Paul Holmes has a poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press 2014). She's a freelance business writer, poet and writing workshop leader whose poetry credits include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Caesura, Every Day Poems, Sow's Ear Poetry Review and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol: 5, Georgia (Texas Review Press).

Projectile tears will speck your glasses with salt
or your contacts will feel like dry rocks.
Even if you have 20/20
you'll take the wrong left through your haze,
not notice for ten miles.
When you finally get there—maybe
it's a friend's dinner party—
crimson veins will worm your eyeballs,
mascara will track your face,
make you Queen of the Dead.

Do not listen to the songs:
      1.    you and he listened to
      2.    you cried to in college after a break-up
      3.    he liked, but you didn't—even KC & the Sunshine Band's
              Rock Your Baby will devastate you now.

Instead, listen to a Wagner opera or self-help books:
whatever spellbinds you. Better yet,
try Comedy Central on WRXM.

Bawl it out before you start the car, even if
it's for half an hour in the lawyer's parking lot
after spending $600 on a divorce consult.
Or in the airport deck as your daughter flies off
for a two-year stint in Singapore.

As you drive, study the shapes of pines. Find animals
in the clouds. Turn your eyes from the ring of gold
under the ginkgo in late fall
if beauty only makes you long to share.

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