April Ossmann
April Ossmann
     
       
Guaranteed Ten-Minute Oil Change
 
What belongs here is lungs exhausted
by waiting cars,
 
oil-dark hands flashing in dim light;
concrete floors cold even in summer;
 
grime-stained waiting chairs;
smudged air from today’s
 
and all the years’ cigarette smoke,
and from the near, incessant traffic—
 
in our ears the all-day whine
persists in echo all night.
 
What doesn’t belong here
is a grown man’s tears or fainting
 
even once—twice is reason to retire—
to recuperate “away” or finally rest;
 
what doesn’t belong here
is the misfiring of language,
 
memory, and motor skills—
and the kind of anger engendered
 
by a fellow’s misfortune
on display—the felling
 
of the chain-smoking, capable manager
of our performance-awarded regional team;
 
what belongs here is the slamming
of the hood on a job well-done—
what doesn’t is the bending knees
and pitiably un-drunk walking of Larry’s legs:
 
wavery mirror in which we wish
to see no selves, least of all our own.