On the car radio, they keep playing a song
made popular during the war.
It doesn’t really matter which particular war —
they are always fighting, always killing each other
in their dreams, while the band keeps playing
the same damn songs, and everyone ends up
singing along despite themselves.
You are not really listening, so absorbed are you
in your own warm boredom, in the flickering movie
playing on the screen of your eyelids, and it is enough
to pass the time perhaps on this interminable road trip.
In the film, you are focused on trying to get somewhere,
but it is never clear where that is, or even if it is an actual place.
This may be one of those movies that end up haunting you,
even after you have woken and exited the neural theater.
It may return again and again in disjointed fragments,
like the nagging guilt you experienced in childhood
for some offense that might today seem trivial,
and yet you can’t quite shake that unsettling feeling
of having done something wrong, even now.
The preachers all say “Let go, let it all go”,
and yet you can’t, it keeps returning, like a distant voice
trying to tell you something, maybe something important,
but you can never quite hear — the noise of the road
is too loud, and the song on the radio, that one
they keep playing over and over . . .