Late Again

The clock shrieks at me at six ‘o clock
but I lay there in sheets for another hour
before I zombie blindly into the bathroom.
I hike up the porcelain and slide into the tub
and pry the faucet with a grunt to the right
until the icy needles of water shoot at me
and shock me to my feet. Thirty minutes later,
smelling like Ireland, I tan under the fluorescence
as I brush teeth and comb hair and swab ears
and flick crumbs still stuck to my eyes.

I see the clock as I strut into my room. Seven
forty. Nature immediately surges through me
panic stronger than a Starbucks espresso.
I dive into the closet and leap out in something
I just flung together, and then I sweep the papers
disarrayed across my desk into the green backpack
hoping the stove is off and the doors are locked
as I rush outside and leap into my Cavalier and jerk it
to life, praying that no child or cat is in front of it
as I pound on the pedal and swerve out onto the street

and dart toward the college. Fifteen minutes later,
I’m walking like my bladder’s a hydrogen bomb
across the football field separating me from the forum.
One eye steers ahead as I slither through crowds
of the slowest and stupidest people I’ve ever seen
while the other watches the countdown to 8 on my Lolex.
Fifty-eight… then fifty-nine… then through the door
like a marathon runner at the finish. I made it! But
damn it! The seat beside the blonde I want to woo
is occupied by the jerk-off who’s always there early.

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