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Another Plot Clich

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My dear, you are the high-speed car chase, and I,   
I am the sheet of glass being carefully carried   
across the street by two employees of Acme Moving   
who have not parked on the right side   
because the plot demands that they make   
the perilous journey across traffic,   
and so they are cursing as rehearsed   
as they angle me into the street, acting as if   
they intend to get me to the department store, as if   
I will ever take my place as the display window, ever clear   
the way for a special exhibit at Christmas, or be Windexed   
once a day, or even late at night, be pressed against   
by a couple who can’t make it back to his place,   
and so they angle me into the street, a bright lure,   
a provocative claim, their teaser, and indeed   
you can’t resist my arguments, fatally flawed   
though they are, so you come careening to but and butt   
and rebut, you come careening, you being   
both cars, both chaser and chased, both good and bad, both   
done up with bullets that haven’t yet done you in.   
I know I’m done for: there’s only one street   
on this set and you’ve got a stubborn streak a mile long.   
I can smell the smoke already.   
                                                No matter, I’d rather shatter   
than be looked through all day. So come careening; I know   
you’ve other clichés to hammer home: women with groceries   
to send spilling, canals to leap as the bridge is rising.   
And me? I’m so through. I’ve got a thousand places to be.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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Another Plot Clich

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