One of the junkies in the backseat spoke
up to ask, “Should there be so much smoke
behind us?” A wall of gray poured from the car.
I took the first exit, wondering how far
I could make it before the explosion, no flames
yet. I found a Wal Mart, parked and tried to wake
my ex who just wanted to stay in her seat. I gave
up, went in, and asked them for help before the blaze
took out somebody else’s car. They wouldn’t even call
the fire department. Meanwhile, my passengers had all
been kicked out of the store for trying to make a pallet
in an aisle, pulling pillows and blankets out. Now that
I’d stopped driving, flames poured from my hood. I stood
and watched it burn. My ex took my hand, asked if I would
go inside and buy her some cigarettes, since she was banned.
It’s kind of funny, she said. I came back to find a man
spraying out the fire. I went out to him and he warned me
to be careful if I drove the car, since the battery
had melted from the flames. Do you think it would turn
over? I asked. Well, no, just be careful. That acid burns
pretty bad, he said. It can melt through most things.
I waited out the night on the hard lobby seats,
while the junkies slept, wondering when it was going
to get funny.