Poetry: “Ode to an Oldsmobile” by Max Lewin

Ode to an Oldsmobile

My dear boat, your windows
are caked with the sticky residue
of long since torn-off parking permits.
Your right side-mirror dangles by a wire;
I see the floppy white ear of a bashful dog.
Cassette plastic crunches underfoot,
shards of a misplaced Sun-Ra bootleg
whose magnetic music once resonated
through fragrant jellyfish clouds
curling infinitely inwards in the still air,
now a refractive dust rubbed into your fur.
As I over-steer around our favorite turn
pretending to be Hunter S. Thompson,
you indulge my fantasy with a frantic screech
as a filthy, forgotten jacket slides
over the maroon leather of your backseat.
After a night rain you grow crickets and smell of mold;
I know the smell is your affection.

We speak in the language of ship and captain.
I will sail you off the concrete edge of the earth.

Max Lewin is currently pursuing an MA in Computer Science at The University of Chicago. He studied poetry as an undergrad at Vassar College, and is eternally grateful to his friend and teacher Josh Harmon for opening his mind’s page.