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by Kasey Shultz

2 die after vehicle crashes into Charles River
-Boston WHDH 7 News

When they got in the car,
They never thought they would soon be flying,
Falling, crashing, drowning.
Never thought flashing lights would stud the river’s edge,
Sending commuters on detours along the river’s black ribbon,
The city lights witness to the last moments of the nameless.

As they careened toward the inky surface,
Did he think back to the way it looked in the light?
Sun reflecting off the rich blue of the water,
Crew teams slicing through whitecaps.
An idyllic surface masking the ravenous depths beneath,
Swallowing up the ugly truths we would rather ignore.

When the water pressed in against the windows,
Did she remember the warnings against swimming?
That the river hid more than dirt and fish,
That is was filled with chemicals,
Runoff, urine,
Spare change, dropped keys,
Secrets, bodies.

As they settled in with the city’s castoffs,
Headlights shining out from their ill-fitted submarine,
What were they thinking?
I always said I was the better driver.
Please God, Allah, Adonai, Brahman, Buddha, Obama, anyone.
I thought the water would be clear down here.
This can’t be happening to me. This isn’t real.
My parents will wonder why we’re late.
I can’t breathe.

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