Red Car in the Future
We awaken in Zurich! We go out for emotions and sodas! It is not correct
To stay anywhere for too long. Shall we go to the Moscow of flowers?
I don’t know. Perhaps, but we play tennis well enough and in Albuquerque
It is too easy to lose one’s jacket. Then a cloud collapsed on Brussels’ silly face.
The Ferris wheel was frightening enough. In New York the conversation
Disappeared into a pack of cigarettes and would not smile. The trees of Copenhagen
And the trampolines of Houston! Swans! Photic machines! The sky stops
For a moment to take a leak. Dear Reykjavik, trying to make sense of this
Unseemly sequence makes my roses hurt. Children in Tripoli ask us insensible questions
Because we are not angels, though we cry like angels, and in San Francisco, for once,
The world opened its heart and we removed the shrapnel. After that, Stockholm
Got us drunk and taught us to dance. We shared a sandwich in Delhi
But that was only the beginning. In Frankfurt, as chance had it, we did nothing of interest.
Cleveland, I stagger through your streets like “I am trying to get as far away from this
As I can.” We arrived late in Paris where we had headaches and sex and oranges. (How
Arbitrary! I feel like a cupcake!) What is the plan? What do you mean “genuine”?
Let’s rent an apartment in Helsinki and sell lemonade to beautiful girls!
Let’s read Swedenborg and ride jet-skis under the bridges of Amsterdam!
At the last second we are invited to a house party in Chicago where we learn
It is not possible to pour an entire bottle of wine into a violin. It’s true, in Melbourne
We made terrific asses of ourselves! Sao Paulo was hot! We liked it very much!
In Bruges our souls became great works of art as we fell asleep on the grass.
In Hong Kong we spoke into the ear of oblivion and wept in golden chairs. Tulips
Grew in the gutters of Beirut. We drank coffee and believed everything was worth saying
At least once, like in Jerusalem when the girl said, “Have you ever played tennis
In Albuquerque? You look so familiar!” or when we met an old man
By the pinball machines of Guadalajara who said, “I am the owner of a red car
In the future. In Auckland I discovered a cup of tea,” and we laughed at him
And asked him to add some lines to this poem (he wrote the ones about Frankfurt,
Sao Paulo, and Brussels, and might have written the one for Reykjavik, but no one
Is quite certain or cares). Oh sweet St. Petersburg where I eat tomatoes and create
Inexplicable machines in praise of accidents and laughter! In Dakar we sell cantaloupe
And are not sarcastic! We are unemotional in Istanbul! We open the dictionary
Rescuing flowers in Denver and suddenly we are staring at ourselves.
Oh never-ending stream of amusements! My zipper is broken! A kiss in Winnipeg!
Nick Sturm is a graduate student in the NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Dark Sky, Dinosaur Bees, Forklift, Ohio, Hayden’s Ferry, and Red Lightbulbs. He is associate editor of YesYes Books and curator of THE BIG BIG MESS READING SERIES.