Citizen's Arrest One of those commutes when nothing moves. I was coming back from Oakland, another day trying to coax thought from my students. Already dark, taillights surged and flickered, a fireplace with no warmth. I was getting impatient, but then so was everyone else, including the van behind me, which came rushing up, lights on bright, only to stop inches from my bumper. Every time I eased forward, a few feet, a few yards, the van would wait, and then when I'd stopped, hurtle forward like a sprinter from the blocks, braking only just in time. This went on all the way from Treasure Island to the middle of the highest span. I could see the girl driving, no older than my students, and the kids riding with her, her riotous friends. I figured they were egging her on, and indeed each time she started quicker, stopped closer, until finally, amid the squeal of burning tires, she slid, kept sliding, struck my bumper. My head jerked back, jolted the headrest. That was too much. I put the car in park, opened the door, and stepped onto the bridge. Other drivers gawked as if frightened for me. But nobody was going anywhere. Besides, I didn't care. The girl looked terrified, her friends stupefied. What had they been drinking, or smoking? I knocked on her window, and when she rolled it down, slowly, timidly, I demanded, "Where's your license?" I could've been Highway Patrol--I was making my first citizen's arrest. She fumbled in her backpack, offered me the card between thumb and forefinger. I took it, read it--she was from down the Peninsula, some hive of expensive bedrooms--then walked to the rail and flipped it into the Bay. I got back into my car then, and she switched lanes, slowly disappearing behind me as I eased into the City.
Lee Rossi's latest poetry collection is Wheelchair Samurai. His poems have appeared in The Atlanta Review, Poetry Northwest, and The North American Review, as well as on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. His interviews and reviews can be found on thepedestalmagazine.com and Poetry Flash. He lives in northern California.