The story goes

that if you stop your car

at the bottom of the hill

and shift it into neutral,

some magnetic force

will tractor-beam it

backward and upward

at accelerating speed,

and when I hear it,

I imagine the mythology

of some alternative universe

in which their Sisyphus

sprints perpetually up

his mountain in reverse,

colliding with the boulder

god-parked at the top,

and then I wonder

if my punishment’s

the same, just slower.

Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper