Ode for a Karmann Ghia
Until he was twenty-four, David Thornbrugh thought Emperor Penguins averaged six foot tall, thus enabling these royal birds to look human intruders in the eye. The resulting shame and embarrassment he felt at the mockery of his peers drove him into the arms of poetry, where he has felt only mildly aggrieved ever since. He thinks of himself as following in the tradition of Archie the Cockroach, whose best work resulted from throwing himself at the keys of a resistant machine, one bruise at a time.
He called his car the coffin,
which is how he drove it,
like a dead man looking for a grave.
Painted primer gray
in anticipation of the coming repairs.
Fisher Beer 99 cents a 6-pack
and no thumbtacks in the libido.
All the way up 101
white moths rose out of the alfalfa fields
and glued their intestines to the grill.
The closer we got to Mt. Lassen,
the denser the swarm swam,
a ticker tape parade of wings.
A spiral of insect bodies
around the volcanic cone,
like being inside a kaleidoscope
twisted by unseen hands.