Take Good Care of the Car Please

Take Good Care of the Car Please
Jesse Miksic

One AM and something
Calls me out this luminous house,
Out out to these unpeopled streets,
A highway for a hijacked family car

And in the Hudson River night
Rushing by, this boy unfolds from me —
Hair returning upon its long-vacated plot,
All scrubby and untutored, and
Upon his brow, a hungry spark,
Harried and desperate for sleep —

He takes sleep wherever it finds him,
Empty small-town parking garages
Echo him in their recitation til
The stern cycle of cop lights wakes him.

By gust and gloam,
By rack and bloom,

He travels the swaying sea
Of this shallow America,
Strapping lightfoot stepping between
The flat stone neon street lights
Over gas station parking lots —

Wrung from these words, he
Leaves his nervous silence as an after-image
In his stooped shape on the shoulder.
He is a back page, he is tinder,
A dry husk ready to light —

He’s never heard of fatherhood; he
Had no father
But this lonely night.

Jesse Miksic is a graphic designer and author from Peekskill, NY. His life is consumed with work, poetry, and seeking out adventures with his brilliant wife and daughter. Recent and forthcoming placements include The American Journal of Poetry, Praxis Magazine Online, and Heron Tree. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram (@miksimum) and on his personal website (www.miksimum.com).