i didn’t mean to (stop)

by Richard Paez

how can i forget

those hours of silence

driving away from our troubles

toward some greater day


how can you expect me

to let go of the wheel

your hand

this moment—

the wind through the window
is the last breath of life in me

how can i stop

how can i keep from seeing

the whole world through the glass

you next to me—

ahead the road

we said would roll on forever

my whole life

and yours



pushing the gas

holding the wheel

your hand

this moment—


i remember

i saw everything

i heard crystal



i didn’t mean to

look away

i didn’t mean to

slam the brakes

i didn’t mean to



how can I forget

those hours of silence with you

sitting next to me


Author's Note: rough. inspired by DMB: 'crash in to me.' Please Compare To Alternate Version In Journal/

Posted on 02/27/2004
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 02/27/04 at 05:22 PM

that is one of my favorite songs in the universe (and the video isn't so bad either)... the analogy of driving a car and a relationship plants a strong foundation in this vivid and imaginative piece... it drew me in and kept me wondering... very well conveyed... brilliant... blessings...

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 02/27/04 at 05:23 PM

by the way... it was also very sad... beautifully displayed, but sad... blessings...

Posted by Rula Shin on 02/28/04 at 06:58 PM

I love this poem. I've been going back and forth between this and the one in your journal...I think I like this version better - I felt like the poem should flow 'forward motion' until that final {stop} - this form seems more appropriate to me. I love that song too and always found it to be very sexual - never thought of the 'crash' in the sense you use it in this poem. The scene is so well constructed, so vivid and relatable...both toghether "driving away from our troubles...my whole life and yours forward-motion." The inevitable STOP in the relationship, the "shatter [of]...crystal." Placing the blame on yourself. I also feel there is something more significant in the apologetic tone (the tragedy of the resulting 'crash') - an underlying sense of satisfaction with these memories. Like reveling in the process of the 'drive' itself - seeing it as a whole. I dont know if Ive got any of this straight hahhahaa but your writing is spectacular - truly. :-) "

Posted by JD Clay on 02/29/04 at 04:25 PM

Perpetual poetry, malachi. To me, this luring piece sends a message of falling into the golden spiral while searching for reason, as if buying time, or saying no and meaning yes. The culmination to this dilemma and your dichotomous title is encapsulated in your summation with a powerful last stanza, the root word being silence. Pe4ce...

Posted by Kara Hayostek on 02/29/04 at 10:13 PM

I read both versions and although I like the form on the journal entry(like a funnel cloud), I feel this one is the better version. I like how this poem builds momentum (forward motion) and although you "slammed the breaks" one or both of you were still going (through the windshield)

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