The Old Malibu
– By Arianna Iliff
I scrapped your car last week:
that fast also-ran four-door sedan
with three hubcaps and one cassette player
the tow truck reaper came
scraped up what value remained of it
threw it to a junkyard crusher
squeezed memories from the metal of the Malibu
I used to grasp for your good side,
watch it drive off with each sip of fuel
the sour oil of pride down the throat
that spent life pleading for relief
“It’s always something,” you’d say.
Another scratch in the paint, a head-on collision
I’ve seen every one of your dents.
I can’t help but love broken things
troublesome before the inevitable comes
for the wheels that used to spin
the trips with open windows
the music sung out loud
to cassette tapes
with your voice still on them.
Poem / Arianna Iliff, a writer, performer and Cincinnati native. She has represented her hometown twice at the Southern Fried Poetry Slam, twice at the Ohio Meatgrinder Slam, and once at the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Her first chapbook, “After,” was self-published earlier this year. Currently, she is attending graduate school in Akron, Ohio.
Picture / Sara Caswell-Pearce, “Unraveling.” Mixed-media collage made with hand dyed, rusted and painted paper; vintage photograph, map, cassette tape and sheet music; marker and ink. 2016