Thursday, July 17, 2008

Used Cars

Rolling down the window
you can hear
the plastic-snap flutter
of the crayon colored flags
spread over them
like a finger-crossed blessing
from a gold-toothed god

All along Harbor Boulevard
sunlight bouncing off the hoods
inviting you to pull over,
kick a tire,
set a price

Protective little vans,
loyal Japanese,
clich├ęd Europeans;
this is when the grill lines
count
and the chrome bits
are critical

Slung gleaming
behind white plastic chains,
poised
like they are about to lurch
and roar over the sidewalk,
through pedestrians,
into traffic

Pledges slapped
across the windshields
bark out in blocked
chartreuse;
LIKE NEW, SHARP,
LOW MILAGE

It must be hard to be
a used car
when the new cars
waxed and scented and lined up like soldiers
a hundred to choose from
with nothing to hide
smirk right next door

Like people
you work with,
you just can’t be sure;
they seem nice enough
in their way
but eventually
the pitches wane
and the polish fades
and history
always
emerges

oh buddy
she’s a runner
never a problem
she is one sweet deal


I gaze long as I drive past,
imagining scattered moments
and memories;

like driving by a prison
like driving by a little league game
like locking eyes

with the lady
who is waiting
at the bus stop

The used car man
eating bad Lo Mien
from a Styrofoam
box
at his desk looking out
at all the cars going by on Harbor Boulevard

1 comment:

E. Bailey said...

I have a really good deal going
on a 1980 Ford Pinto. Runs like
a battle tank. Needs paint.
Tranny slips a bit. 3 big ones.