September 2023

Back to Issue 14

A Teenage Boy Drives in a Tank to his Junior Prom

By Brett Dionysius

Perhaps it’s a good idea to wrap the heart in armour first.

Rolled homogeneous muscle that pumps its Cadillac engine

to love’s frontline. It is the longest running war you’ll fight. 

Love, that needs all the horsepower a green boy can muster. 

Best to view it through a driver’s thin iron slit, safe behind

fifty mm of steel protection like an enamoured Ned Kelly. 

But your vision is often obscured by the heart’s fog of war, 

though its suspension gives you such a sweet ride; so much

that in the dry desert of their lost loves, the Brits called their

light tanks ‘honeys’ as they glided towards a sticky assignation. 

At the intersection, you do a doughie, a pattern of thoughts 

for your dad; blow engine smoke to hide fate’s cruel numbers; 

the days since your father passed, still grinning at your gambit. 

You park in the space the school provides, tankful to be here.