The left lane
on the 405 isn’t
always the fastest.
Sometimes the SUV
in the right-most lane
goes 80 miles per hour
while the Honda Accord
in the fast lane
goes 67 for half a mile.
Sometimes a pregnancy test
is positive. Sometimes
polychemotherapy doesn’t work.
Sometimes I cry
into my pillow.
Today in the middle lane
on the 405 at La Tijera
a flattened cardboard box
launched out of the bed
of a pickup truck
in front of my car.
As I swerved,
the box contracted in mid-air
then climbed up into sky
like a free balloon.



Nicholas Reiner is an American poet of Mexican heritage. His work appears in Spillway, Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, Fourteen Hills, Yemassee, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. He holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of California, Irvine, where he completed an MFA. He is Director of Communications at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) and lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife and daughter.