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Curved Lines
by Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith

So here is the deal, you agreed with yourself
and claimed middle aged. No yelling, no pouting, you loved
             the day that much.


You and your three imperfect friends, cruising the 405 in a gorgeous car,
sunroof open, the gods looking in, envying your mortality, and this is when


you needed something to do, anything, because the tired song on the radio
reminds you that often action is a good response to grief. You began lifting


the big happy inflatable sheep up through the car’s sunroof.
A scene out of a movie, a cliched comedy, where the characters wait
            for more waiting,


at 65 miles an hour, and they travel prepared for adventures
with adult pool toys. Orale, this is a new moment. The blow-up toy


looks regal, and the sound of the rushing air around the plastic animal
reminds you that curved lines are more interesting than straight lines.


You enjoy watching others in their speeding cars reacting to the inflated
five-lane freeway daredevil. Especially children who laugh without shame.


But isn’t one of the reasons for speed, to have fun? And shouldn’t
everyone enjoy the surprise of a blow-up sheep cheating death?


This all lasts for several miles. Songs heard in waiting rooms fuel your determination.
The sheep trusting you more and more, knowing you will
            never let go. The sun amused.


Your youth exiting the freeway off ramp without regrets. And the highway patrol car
with the lights flashing, rushing to rescue the inanimate object
            from certain doom.

Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith was born in Merida, Yucatan, grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and taught English at Tucson High School for 27 years. Much of his work explores growing up near the border, being raised biracial/bilingual and teaching in a large urban school where 70% of the students are American/Mexican. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, his writings will appear in Drunk Monkeys, Bear Paw Arts Journal and have been published in Sky Island Journal, Muse, Discretionary Love and other places too. His wife, Kelly, sometimes edits his work, and the two cats seem happy.

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