Riding In My Car With Andre 3000

I tell him “I’ve wanted to write a poem about you

ever since my friend wrote a poem about you

and got me listening to Aquemini again,

which is to say for the first time,

which is to says he’s not really my friend

but one time, I bought him dinner,

and he laughed enough that I’m sure

at least once it had to do with something

I said.” And he’s looking out the window,

but by now its dark, and on this stretch

of 91 most of the lights are just a flicker

at best, so I just assume he’s listening,

and I say something else like “My favorite album

when I’m driving is Purple Rain,

but my second favorite is ATliens.”

I leave out the part about how the “You Might Die” intro

has always reminded me of this old Savage Garden song

that used to make me sad, because that’s not a good look

for anybody. This makes him laugh,

which makes me realize he can hear me,

so I think you can hear me? and he says

“Loud and clear” and I say “I must

be imagining things,” and he says

“One can only hope.” And he’s still looking

out the window, so I ask him

what he’s looking for, and he tells me “nothing,”

I mistake this for something poetic

and tell him I haven’t finished a song

in at least a couple years, and he asks me

what I mean by finished and I know

that I’m supposed to know how to answer

but I don’t, so I say “recorded.”

He tells me nothing he writes feels finished

until he’s so sick of it he needs to write

something new. I want to make a joke

about Idlewild, but instead ask him

when the new albums out. He tells me

nothing he writes feels finished yet.

I ask him if it needs to, and he says yes.

I ask him if he was sick of Aquemini

by the time it dropped, and he says yes.

I almost mistake this for poetic, but instead say

“that doesn’t sound like it’s the healthiest

kind of mindset to have,” and he says

“loud and clear” and goes back to the window.

We don’t talk for a next few minutes,

until “Green Eyes” comes on, and I start to wonder

what its gotta be like to have someone write a song that good

about missing you that much and he tells me

“it does not feel good.” I ask him if it was worth it,

and he tells me “it does not feel good”

so I say “whats it supposed to feel like?”

and the gap between his teeth catches the glint

from the street light flicker as he reaches across

and grabs the wheel, and sends us careening

across the lanes of traffic, and the cars behind us

Lincoln-log themselves into a statue

of something I do not understand

but I know is beautiful and I want to scream

but I end up laughing instead and he is laughing

with me and it all mixes with the metal

and tire skid and it sounds like we are finally

making something new for the first time,

and everything is exactly the way

it has always wanted to be,

right up until the moment

it stops.