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Fraction of a Second

Just as I drove forward
she ran the stop sign
at the intersection
I was about to pass
when I was temporarily delayed
by a pedestrian
walking against the signal
waving apologetically
to rescue me from a crash;
that fraction of a second
that permits us to survive

that fraction of a second
we erase in memory
remember that car
standing on its hood on fire
in the west-bound lanes
that long ago Saturday night
after the poetry reading
we push that sight aside
for the sake of our lives.

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