What luck! my bill slips
into the possibility of cleanliness.
The fingers of my attendant embed a traveled grime.
Blond mountain man (I imagine Him) between addresses or women.
His cigarette perpetual between his lipless lips
as he pressurizes a hose with his thumb
for dirty Sebring’s initial rinse.
Michigan February afternoon piles on us
misery, salt, freeze,
yet the promise of a car wash:
soon our wheels will roll smooth.
Bursts of spray loosen chunky slush-rot from the crevices.
Gray winter disappears beneath forceful showers as
blue sponges twist like a 1960s retrospective.
I know how Jackson Pollock’s canvas felt
this soap squirting against the windshield.
O spin puppet flappers in your gowns of brilliant purple.
Rain on me your liquid forgiveness
(he tells me how it used to be …
hit the pipe in the car wash,
crack pipe, burn brain burn
Forgiveness is this kind of washing away.
The whirring fire-vacuum peels us
from immersion into day.
We slowly move forward, sleek as a cougar made of chrome.
How gorgeous we are against this Michigan
February, though we’ll return
in a few days for another thrill of sponges.
Save another dollar for my blond Mountain man,
another turn up the drive and down again, another chance to get filthy and then clean.