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.