What Energies Hold Us Together

Inside the car, two voices strike
the tinted windshield and bounce back—
echoes of the same argument
about love, about who gives and who takes

while the sun blazes down,
blistering red rashes on the driver’s
forearm. A swerve in the road;
the steering wheel slides through fingers

and a spin-out too late to correct or halt
by pumping the brakes, too fast
for a second chance to shift directions.
Tires skid across the unbroken line,

bumping over the yellow dots into the body
of traffic, the mind’s cacophony of what should
have been said during the last two seconds
before entering a waking world.





Sharon Hashimoto’s first poetry collection, The Crane Wife, was co-winner of the 2003 Nicholas Roerich Prize and reprinted this year by Red Hen Press. Her second poetry manuscript, More American, won the 2021 Off the Grid Poetry Prize and was also the 2022 Washington State Book Award winner in poetry. Other poems and short fiction are forthcoming or have appeared in various literary magazines, including Louisiana Literature, North American Review, Permafrost, Moss, and Shenandoah.

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