Dominique at the Car Wash
Lynn Hoggard received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Southern California and currently work at Midwestern State University, where she is a professor of English and French and the coordinator of humanities. In 2003, the Texas Institute of Letters awarded her the Soeurette Diehl Fraser award for best translation.
For several years, she was an arts writer for the Times Record News in Wichita Falls and wrote more than six hundred articles, features, and reviews. She has published five books: three French translations, a biography, and a poetry anthology. Her poetry has appeared in 13th Moon, Clackamas Literary Review, Concho River Review, Descant, New Ohio Review, The Oklahoma Review, Soundings East, Summerset Review, Wild Violet, and Xavier Review, among others.
Dominique drives her Volvo to the car wash
the way a Texas redneck strolls into
a honky-tonk—looking to feel sexy,
maybe get some action, random violence,
and a wild, sky-high adrenaline thrill.
She pulls in, guides her car onto the tracks,
opens the inside cover to the sunroof,
and, as the car locks in its forward glide,
she lies luxuriantly on her back,
looking up and smiling as she waits
for the first hard squirts of water to smack the glass
from every side, above, splattering like gesso
all its surfaces to make them ready.
And then, when colors finally start to come,
they hit like rage, in smashing disarrays
of yellow, blue, persimmon, white, and green,
in fierce and wacky rhythms that shock and leave
her breathless, tell her she's the canvas, this
an action painting where, furious, Jackson Pollock,
like a hurricane, explodes above her!
When the storm goes by, is washed away,
she heads on home, hair blowing in the sun.
Smiling like the queen of honky-tonk,
she knows creation is a violent, messy act
and knows she's been the very bed of art.