Safety First in My Toyota Corolla

There have to be at least ten other white Corollas lined up in the mall parking lot. Doesn’t matter. Something in my body responds to the curve of its fins, even though fins on cars are about watching Saturday Night Fever. My eyes move over its rear end, its round curves end in a license plate. Fit like a gym workout. My car and I are imprinted on each other. I am her duckling who sails over the water in the morning and comes back in the evening; I cross a bridge twice a day and return to her, can find my car without making its parking lights flash. In the distance, I recognize a square sticker on the window shield and a string of bottle caps that hang on a thin wire over the dashboard, a souvenir from another time; she senses my foot on the gas, how close to the wheel I sit, what it takes to start over. My car’s name is Johnetta. She holds my memories inside her trunk. Johnetta says we are going for a ride. I feel safe until he crawls out from the trunk, plops next to me and grins.

Lenore Weiss is an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University, where she is also a teaching assistant. Winner of the Clark-Gross Award and the Robert Browning Dramatic Monologue Contest, her poetry has been published in many journals. Books include Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island (West End Press, 2012), Two Places (Kelsay Books, 2014) and The Golem (Hadassa Word Press, 2017). Her blog resides at

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