"Red Car" by Sheheryar Hasnain  copyright 2000
How My Mind is Like a Car

Dirty.  And filled with old music.
Stuff to be returned in the back
and way in the back, stuff for
emergencies––times I can't stop,
times I'm burning up,
times I am wounded.
And maps--big books
of small places with names
I should remember
and ones I can't forget.
With a missing lighter,
so I can't light anything up.
With mirrors so I can
see how bad it is.
And tiny lights in the dark
to tell me whether I have enough
to go on and whether
I am slow or fast
and how many revolutions
per minute I am making
which is occasionally useful.
And a slot for slipping
a mood on for size.
And a trash bag that
keeps being filled
but never emptied––
how the garbage peeks
over the top to remind
me I waste alot of what
I use.  And down on
the bottom, all the debris
I have collected accidentally,
bits and sticks and pebbles
from the places where I've been.
And things beside to keep
me busy at the stoplights,
to keep me from thinking
about where I'm going
and how I'm going there.
And rags in a small compartment
when it gets too foggy to see.
And a steering wheel for obvious reasons.
And my favorite––reverse, so I can get
the hell out of there.  And junk,
I forgot to talk about the junk.
Plastic, glitter, useless pieces of
lost Gestalts.  And a computer––
like a minute factory, humming
a sound too high for me to hear.
But as my father used to say,
about ugly cars, it gets
me there and back.

Copyright 2000  J. C.  Watson


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