Dealerships by Matthew Milia

The muffler smoke
Does lovingly choke
The community college's dusk parking lot
The potholes soak
Because the ice broke
And jarringly jolt us till the shocks are shot
And the carports are revving with warming-up motors
With throats that are heavily fuming exhaust
And I taste who I am when I breathe the odors
And all that was feral is sterile with frost

And it feels so good
Feels so holy
My world should
Soon control me
And I know that I would
Like it to

The shrink-wrapped cosmetics and cardboard aesthetics of department store picture frame inserts that my
Mother keeps under a sink in a cupboard with her high school diploma and it hurts to try
To keep all our treasures intact for forever in fact they are cluttered and muttering sighs
The pipes froze and ruptured and so now her cupboard is full of possessions that she can't keep dry

I see wild geese in the drainage ditch east
Of the hotel chains behind Thunderbird Lanes
When I go do some banking, rigidly thanking
What the frigidness deems and the extremes it contains

And the funeral home, pharmacy, bar and grill are to see
Me to the white and bright sports domes of youth
But all that was docile's now frozen and hostilely
Clenching her denture where once was a tooth

Behind the Home Depot parking lot
The cold woods decay
The homeless they go and squat
And wrestle their way

The old lovers spurn
And the new lovers enter
The bitter night burns
In the bottle return's sticky center

Where
The dealerships garishly light up the parish where we
Wore Catholic uniforms from K to 8
The winter it frigidly deals out a litany
Of auto parts from car wrecks at the Secretary of State

Dealerships, dealerships in the night townships
Where my allergist's magazines were from the late
1990s when dealerships dealt out
Pleated-pant children belting in lots
Shelter their snow-boots in sweltering showrooms
Or a storage space that radiates ten-thousand watts

And then
I'll meet you out where the outlet malls turn to black holes
I'll greet you cradling obsolete remote controls
To television sets in entertainment cabinets
From lost living rooms of trampled carpets
Of VHS sun-bleached cassettes and teenage trophies of plastic soccer nets
And the clip art signs are cartoonish on diners
Which are actually grimmer than hell in the night
And a bright CVS might make me obsess
But at least I have found what is mine in the light

And it feels so pure
Feels so singular
Still and sure
That's the thing you were
Meant to see when you
Went through the
Dimming world

Those blaring bugs wouldn't leave me alone
And it's not that I deserved their letting
The autumn tugs and the summer moans
And pretty soon winter was setting
And if safety is the one thing
I knew never would harm me
Last hot fall
I put all mine
In a Salvation Army
On the borderline of losing my mind
And pitifully making excuses
On the borderline of sweetness I find
In Rhode Island and Massachusetts