A history buff, I took the spot on Mayflower, which I was certain I’d recall,
but would probably never be able to find again
the way the streets wind around each other and stop dead at the Hutch,
then you have to walk under the el on Westchester
where the streets tend to have new names once you get to the other side;
or you make a wrong turn and get mesmerized
by the Thai bodegas that sell exotic flowers outside,
and Ecuadorian skin treatment joints offering lava facials,
and the China Criolla with the combination plate of chicken wings and fried rice
and platanos for $4.95 which would like to keep you company while you’re walking,
and soon you find yourself at I 95, which you can’t get on anyway without a car,
but why would you want to when you’re looking for where you parked?
This part of the Bronx, Tremont, ought to be a wonderland
of hills and rills and rocky outcrops and kids climbing trees
but it’s where Moses bulldozed right through people’s kitchens
to create the promised land, mobile effing America;
he’d make sure there were plenty of ways—north, or west, or south–
for a guy with a car to get his ass out of the Bronx.
But now it’s just a beautiful dream–half the people only have the wheels on the bus,
which go round and round and take you no farther than the city line,
and the other half can’t even find where the hell they parked.
by Alan Walowitz
Editor’s Note: The rambling, long lines and sentences of this poem emphasize the wandering nature of the narrative. This is about a car, and a person, and a place, but it is also about many people and a lack of cars.