on the page magazine

issue no. 4, summer 2001


New Car Blues

by Charles Fishman

My new car's in the lot—did I lock it?
Did I put in the sun-shade? Will a truck
block it? Or back up too quickly
and smack it? Is that its horn sounding
through the night or something darker
that needs to speak?

Is it parked too close to the trees?
I can almost feel the cool sap drip.
And what if a branch slashes through the glass
and the upholstery is ripped? What if
all four tires are slit?

What was that crash—its hood lifting
and slamming down? And what is that loud
insistent clanking—doors jimmied off
and awkwardly dropped? Is that a horn
sounding in the night or something darker
that needs to speak?

Charles Fishman's books include Mortal Companions, The Firewalkers, and Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust. His book, The Death Mazurka, was selected by the American Library Association as one of the outstanding books of 1989 and nominated for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His new poetry collection, Country of Memory, will be published by Rattapallax Press in March 2002. "New Car Blues" was first published in Redneck Review.

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