Chinese Windshield-Wiper, poem by Brandon Whitehead

      My car- MY wonderful car
      is no lifeless desert,
      no sterile ER
      pressurized with
      filtered atmosphere--
      It is an island,
      whose reefs and sholes
      gather the flotsam
      of the midwest's
      tidal jetstream,
      a faithful home to 39th St.'s
      shaggy, hung-over moths
      and tripped-out hippie spiders
      (who wave at me
      slidding into the driver's seat
      as if to say "Thanks for
      lettin' us crash, man-
      got a smoke?")

      This, I take all in stride.

      Unfortunatly, my car does not.

      Despite my blessings of housefly husks,
      mummified french-fries
      and a large orange spot
      under the seat
      that has not lost
      an ounce of stickyness
      in over two years,
      my car has gotten some form
      of automotive leprocy,
      resulting in various bits
      of, oh, say muffler
      or such
      falling off
      from time to time.

      It was inevitable, I suppose,
      that one day the windshield-wiper
      would fall off too, so I wasn't surprised
      when it did just that.

      Investigating the remains
      for a part
      or model #,
      I find only the words
      "Made in China".

      Now, I am fully aware
      that China is an ancient
      and far-distant land
      that I cannot just call up
      and ask for
      windshield-wipers.

      So I go to the closest place
      I can think of
      to China: WalMart.

      Using my blind bat-senses
      as the supernovic glare
      reduces my pupils to pin-pricks,
      I grab the first wiper
      that says "Made in China",
      throw money at a light
      with a number on it,
      peel the accumulation
      of sticky children
      off my pants
      and flee back out into the lot.

      The instructions say
      "Click in place.",
      and after fifteen minutes
      in a sudden freezing downpour
      I want to meet the person
      that wrote it
      and find a place to click him.


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