Dead Man’s Curve (I-90 Eastbound)

when i read the painted lane warnings
|SLOW|SLOW|SLOW|SLOW|
or hit the rumble strips
SLOWDOWN SLOWDOWN SLOWDOWN

i hear my brother teasing, as we peek through
the windows of our two-tone blue van
“uh oh, here comes dead man’s curve!

i see me, skeptically scanning the sleet-laden
shoulders of the wintry interstate, boldy
declaring: “i don’t see any dead bodies!”

(i assumed the city of cleveland left casualties
of car crashes as guide-markers for others
to avoid mishaps. like on mount everest.)

i picture my brother’s face, shocked at my naivete
and mom scolding us both: “stop being morbid!
don’t take things so literally all the time!”

i still don’t see any dead men
except this fool in front of me
that doesn’t know to punch it
through the second half of the curve