Goodbye Old Paint
What have you eaten that we have forgotten?
What lost earring resides
in the deepest recesses of your front seat?
What coins shaken and pushed into your crevasses?
And do you remember the song made up on the spot
and sung just once, then left forgotten in Nevada?
Do you still carry the dust of Tonopah
or that yearning to actually see something extraterrestrial
on the Extraterrestrial Highway?
Do you carry shards of his boredom while driving
mile after mile of Utah beauty?
Do you still carry my expectations of sharing
the giant faces of Rushmore
and echoes of the fact that he expected more?
What of molecules of the Mississippi crossing
or dreams of the memories of Hannibal?
What sweat from those Mississippi hours
waiting outside the B.B. King Museum?
Salt grains and chocolate crumbs
and DNA of those few souls who rode along in you—
all parked in a parking lot waiting to be bought
by someone who will never know the hidden you.
Just like the rest of the world,
frequented by interlopers.
Only we, leaving you, will murmur “Goodbye Old Paint”
and know that although you neither hear nor answer,
somehow our past is locked up inside of you
and there a part of us will stay
while we depart without it.
The prompt today was by Forgottenman, who wanted me to memorialize his faithful automobile companion, Old Paint (pictured here to his right). To his left is his new love, Soul Red. To see his prompt, go to his blog here.