They wanted him to stop kicking like that—
it made their eyes corkscrew, drilled the sun in the sky
so light dumped out like blood from a leak.
The boy in the trunk wouldn’t die.
They drove and drove, and he dented the trunk’s tight lid,
called their names, then pounded the wheel wells
with a tire iron. The sun filled
their skulls so they felt like hell
and the boy in the trunk wouldn’t listen. You’d think
it was burning hot in there, you’d think he’d be gone,
passive, but no. The boy in the trunk
banged on and on
until the noise grew godalmighty unforgivable
and they had no choice but to pull into the woods,
leave the car, try to hitch a ride with someone
quieter, someone who could
listen without interrupting. They’d had a hot day.
The road simmered to the overheated sky.
But from far away they still heard him, the boy
in the trunk, his empty cry.