Too Far Gone by Peter Storey

I kick the door in, then I whip my gun
Out screaming “Everybody gets their asses
Fucking on the ground!” I jack a round
Into the chamber, then I blast the roof.

I tell the tellers “cash” and from the rest
I'm grabbing wallets and I'm grabbing phones.
Some girls are crying, one dude's trying to hide
That he just pissed his pants, and I am gone.

But as I'm leaving, on the floor I see
This red-haired lady that I know I've seen
Before, but I don't know her, and I'm sure
The cops are coming, so I'm out the door.

I tear into the hill-land in the truck
My buddy stole, on my way into
The mountains towards a two-track road just cut
Last week, afraid I'm kicking too much dust.

I wipe my prints clean, then I roll the truck
Into a lake. My hands are shaking like
They always do, and so I light a smoke
And tell myself I'm gonna get away.

The light of day is fading fast and I
Don't think the cops'll chase past dark; I hike
Into the woods a ways and light some sticks
To hooch up like a bandit for the night.

And by my fire's glow, I start to paw
Through people's wallets, taking out the bills
And burning leather--then I see red hair
Again, and try to place that green-eyed face.

Her name is Erin Fahey and she's from
The state of Georgia, where I've never been.
“It's just imagination” is what I say,
But when I toss her wallet in the flames

It knocks me dizzy like my Daddy did;
I met this girl one night at summer camp
A century ago, when I was just
A kid, and everything was just a game.

I snuck into the senior camper's dance
And with a courage never manifest
Before or since, I boogied up beside
Her, then I turned around and asked her name.

Her green eyes smiled and her lips did too,
She said, “It's Erin Fahey. Who are you?”
I would've married her, right there, right then,
But like it always does, the music stopped.

Back then, back when, in paradise, I loved
This red-haired girl I met just once just how
I loved the lazy ways of summer days--
Sweet, silly ways since childhood forgot.

I never saw that girl again. But when
My life would hurt, I used to daydream hers,
And how it must be better, how we'd meet
Again someday, how I would get away.

But other lovers came and went, and as
The summers tumbled by me, I began
To think myself a man and soon forgot
About the girl I loved at summer camp.

I wonder how she grew to be--is she
A waitress or a doctor? Does she have
A kid? Or did she join the Army like
I did? And does she ever think of me?

And there she was; just then, we met again;
Just when I'm at the worst I've been. Goddamn,
I am a slug, a loser crook, a drunk
And ugly man, just rotten in the guts.

I stoke the fire through the night, and sleep
The best I can. When morning comes, I split
The haul up with my buddy's friend, who drives
All day to take me someplace far away.

I spend the riding silent, staring out
The window as the summer trundles by
While, like a kid, I dream up ways this girl
Could save my life--but these are wasted thoughts.

He drops me in some dusty corner town;
I lay down cash to get a ticket on
The midnight bus to Mexico. But I'm
Not ready yet to go, and so, before

We roll, I filch an envelope and stamps;
I fill it with her license, and her cash,
Then mail them with a messy note that says
“I'm sorry, Erin Fahey, and good-bye.”

Peter Storey is a poet and a performer from Chelmsford, MA. After attending UMass Amherst, he's read his work in Boston, New York City, Washington DC, and Antarctica at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. In his free times, he drives his truck and hopes it doesn't break, and prepares for another summer fighting wildfires in the west.