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Learner's Permit
by Dina Friedman

Arrows mark the bend.
The boy, skinnier than usual
in skinny jeans and denim jacket

bites his lip, accentuating hair
on the hardening mouth muscle
years of work on embouchure.

Everything about him is skinny.
Skinny reeds in the skinny oboe he plays
everything but the sounds.

they are round, romantic, Rubinesque.
His skinny fingers tighten on the wheel
skinny feet work the clutch,

the brake, as he turns
onto the next road.
I want to tell him to stay

in this moment of seeking
the perfect voluptuous note
but we do not speak. Instead, I listen

to the peal of the rain on the windshield
as he drives away from me
into the truth of the oncoming curve.


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