This Buick, once a pinnacle of affordable luxury and comfort--though lacking on the "cool" factor--has served well. It gets me places, or rather, near enough to places that if it does decide to nap, walking is no huge bother. Of course, if I were driven for 388k miles, I(more) might need a break as well,
I am taking a huge risk by going on this trip. A trip to come see you while you are on the continent. You make me an idiot like that. I changed all the fluids/filters/belts/lamps and even washed it, removing almost all of the remaining paint. My mechanic friend even gave it the go-ahead, however "I'm afeared of them gaskets."
Like engines need gaskets or whatever. Psh.
Big shock when the needle's in the red and it's belching steam... and oil... and trans fluid. I feel stupid calling you to come get me when you don't even know I was coming to see you. You make me an idiot that way. I'm not even sure you wanted my company in your week back from Peace Corps, but you say you'll come anyway.
You meet me by the bay and help me give the ol' girl a burial at sea- I was surprised at first- how fast she sank. With my ring in it as I remember. You think I'm mad when I dive in. Nearly drowning so you can reject my proposal. Dripping wet and dejected, I begin the walk home.
(more) I'm too far from the freeway to hear the rumbling, the frantic new arteries of this weary nation don't reach my boneyard.
Another night in a humid room.
Only the sluggish veins of churning trains touch this unloved corner. The town I live in is an unhealed bruise on the broken vein of a road on a map.
Another night in a humid room, guts tied up with wondering.
Cicada song swells at dusk. Mosquito hawks and moths bump hard with a soft clink into the bare porch light and the window screens separating me from the wild dark. I wash my hands in the tiny gleaming sink, I wash my feet in the claw-foot bathtub, cold to the touch even in the summer evening.
Another night in a humid room, guts tied up with wondering. Listening.
I climb into a bed with no sheets. The silky, flower-patterned skin of the mattress catches at my legs, cool on my skin at first, blood-warm in minutes.
I hear a train, straining through the night, not far away from the Little House in the Big Ghetto where I live. Where I think I live. Where all the little mirrors on top of heavy dark dressers reflect only questions.
In the dark, under the wheeze of a neighbor's air conditioner, under the sighs of dreaming sleep, I hear a train. Whistle pleading. Taking no passengers. Crawling through my gut. Slithering out a tear duct. Cosmic dust swirling away. Coalescing into a spiral galaxy. Ride the rails, to the end.
In the dark, the little mirrors reflect unseen light. The train rumbles. They vibrate. Worlds shake, then shiver, then settle.
Another night in a humid room, guts tied up with wondering. Listening. Waiting for infinite worlds to sing.