The Novel Loses its Thread

un-baffled exhaust ports
of an unseen muscle car breathe
noisy fire, roar, then idle down to a purr

abrupt report of a pistol

then shifting gears as the motor fades
into the distance, like self-conscious years
writing their way to a halt
at the index of a history text

all the unprovoked thoughts
run adrift, then assemble at sleep's door
as the novel loses its thread
just like a life lived in earnest

innocent as a forgotten thing
its power to provoke all played out
on a Saturday night in Houston