A Passion Play
In memoriam Helene Dorn 1927–2004
On the Mass Pike, at the ﬁrst rest stop past
Boston, the starter breaks. The lights and radio
go on, but there’s no click click. It’s six
on a hot, humid, summer Saturday.
I’m headed to New York
with a ﬁle box of letters in the trunk.
What could have caused this?
Overheating? I’d only been doing 70.
The cashier calls three times for a guy
who appears at last with doped- up eyes
and writes down a number.
The man on the phone says
Look for a truck, but it might take
twenty to thirty and if he doesn’t come
call me back.
A pattern? A portent? Well,
a second chance.
I start right away for the car.
The box of letters is heavy every
way. Thirty pounds, four decades,
two women. One dead, the other