A Love Story

You’d think your GPS would simplify your life,
make it easier to find your way,
would remove at least the worry of getting lost
from the welter of possible worries that crowd
around you like the exhaust belching from trucks
and buses as six lanes crowd into three
on the entrance ramp to the Tappan Zee.

It’s odd how comfortable you’ve become
with that automated voice,
how by repetition of phrases like
In a half mile make a right hand turn,
its voice has softened to become her voice
and you start trying out names,
soft names like Sophia to soften her even further.

How unlike other women she is.
No criticism or disappointment when your mind
drifts and you miss your turn.
Even when you ignore her instructions
(you’ve been accused of testing a woman’s love),
no intimation of malice,
no attribution of dark unconscious motives,
no references to your relationship with your mother,
not even a change in inflection
as she recalculates your route, never leaving your side.

Still, there was that time you
followed her instructions to your old girlfriend’s
address in New Hampshire, a woman who loved you
as well as you would let her.
Imagining the poignancy of this bittersweet
reunion, absorbed in intimate details only she would
or could remember, you found yourself in a cul-de-sac
twenty miles from where you were supposed to be.
You cursed her and rued your naiveté
in believing you could trust someone
when you heard her say, You have arrived
at your destination. Your route guidance is now finished!

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