Getting my oil changed

and Jeremiah speaks kind        he knows motors        his assessments include what’s
dirty        I am not my car I forget to say        the oil has come        and engines can stutter       
and I, too, have been guided over holes I want to tell him        I have found a thing beneath Jeremiah speaks quick        shows me a stick with what’s left on it        this has shaken me more than not
what is more than not I want to ask my mechanic        his hands are holding what has filtered how driven I can be        but I am not my car I say again        I have receipts to prove that every radiator has its limit        I have a boiling point that keeps me up at night        here is your bill my prophet says        but I am not my car        and this time I am speaking to you        I am driving away from what I love        like a window broken with grief





Joseph Byrd’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, DIAGRAM, Clackamas Literary Review, Many Nice Donkeys, and Novus Literary Arts. He’s a 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee and was in the StoryBoard Chicago cohort with Kaveh Akbar. An Associate Artist in Poetry under Joy Harjo at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, he is on the Reading Board for The Plentitudes.

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