Thursday, November 13, 2014

Claude Reincarnated



Claude drove an old rattling Plymouth  
with a hole in the floor and doors
that were different colors. Its vinyl top
had been shredded by the nimble fingers
of baboons at one of those safari theme parks
Claude had had the poor judgment
of driving through while intoxicated
one afternoon. Claude refused to wash the beast
and during dry spells smart alecs would write insults
all over its dusty hide. In winter its skirts
turned white with salt, its wheel wells gnawed away
as if by a giant hamster. Neither the gas gauge nor
the speedometer were particularly trustworthy,
and the antenna had been replaced by a straightened
wire coat hanger until even that was stolen.
It possessed a single hubcap, spray painted orange.
A fender bender had wedged the trunk permanently stuck.
The seats were more electrical tape than vinyl at this point.
The back bumper was plastered with stickers
for political candidates Claude couldn’t remember
ever voting for. Some of them he’d never even heard of.
Barnaby Carmichael? Snopes/Dewlap
“Get Up and Go!” 98? Despite all its flaws,
Claude loved that car. It was his prized possession.

Claude got out of bed and looked out the window.
His black Maserati sat in the carport, freshly waxed.
“Just a dream,” he thought, shuddering. “Just a
Horrible, horrible dream”
as some monstrous V-8 engine backfired
somewhere in the night.

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