Waking Up Strange

Don’t sleep in a parked car.
You awake, windows fogged, hands on the wheel,
the dash and controls suddenly foreign,

like a safe word repeated too often. What queer
drives brought you here? You hurtle ahead but the car
is still. You wake up turning the wheel

and avoiding its meaning. Turning a pink plastic wheel.
Pounding a rubber clown horn like a little girl. And harbor strange
fears of waking up driving. Of waking up lost. You awake in a car

and can’t find your car. Turn the wheel and it locks. You’re an alien.

Previously appeared in Tar River Poetry.