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'47 Chevy

His sheet metal voice, his moves
slick as the polished pickup,
the idle set just over optimum, even
in neutral the bed trembles,
the tires urge along.

Inside the cab, she
does not imagine rubber sloughing
away from belts, smoke
wisping from exhaust pipes or the thick
oil that slows the pistons' push

into steel sleeves.  After the long haul,
she's still impatient to roll, to slip
the gearshift tenderly into first,
still liable to release the cranky pedal,
ignore the gentle grinding that follows.

Lulled by the compression
crunch of gravel, she forgets to test
drive, eases forward as the garage door shuts
into one more night
when she doesn’t see the skid coming.

Or the breakdown.  When she resolves
once more the road to the coast
will be plumb and a chamois tongue
can be nothing but a joyride.

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