Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Autobiography


"Listen." I am driving home too fast, talking out loud
although I know you're not in the bucket seat. It's my auto-
biography I can't quite get my lips around
but it could also be my rendition of yours. "This is a fact."
All the words after that are something else.

To be convinced of someone else's fiction, (with its cat's paw
wind and its buoy tower,the boys who believe
they'll live forever, who climb the thirty foot ladder, accept the jump)
you must first remember a dark camp lake, Do-Wop
like moon on a swimmers back, and Jack who taught you
to use your mouth in the back seat of an Edsel with the headlights off,
then trust your own ribs, your breath, the tough climb
up Confederate Cemetery Hill. Nothing primed any of us
to confess we weren't born into an ideal universe
(the ocean, the airplane, the crack of applause). When we talk about it,

our best stories have left and right-hand versions,
non-symmetrical as rogue particles-
Can we absolve each other for cunning fables,
for the real and fictitious us that came before?
Talk fast. Tell me everything in the car.