Street Parking

by Bud Smith

I looked everywhere
still couldn't find my truck
there was nothing
between 176th
and 163rd
no sign of it
the river. the bridge.
the hydrants. the park.
me walking, one hand
in pocket, the other

a useless plastic
panic button
beer bottle popper
who would want
a forest green
1997 Ford Explorer?
what kinda sadistic
I stop on a bench
and watch a pigeon
3 white sweat-suited 

doing tai chi 

frost covered grass
in the distance
a man in a brown leather coat
plays himself at chess
he keeps getting up
and walking around
to the other side
of the concrete board
considering his next move

On broadway, I cave
first I call the cops
they say, “Don't have it.”
I call the tow lots
“we don't have it either.”
It's gone to car Heaven.
It's floating on a cloud.
Oil is still leaking down
like rain, secretly on everything
When I call the cops again
to report the thing jacked
long gone, stolen
chopped up, eaten
they say, “We got it.”
“It's on 177th.
Didn't you see the signs?”
“They were neon.”
“Everything is neon, “ I say.
“There was a movie.”
I walk over there
head down
birds suddenly singing
all trash levitating
the street sweeping machine
rounding the corner
and the driver shouting my name
there's my truck
on 177th
parked the wrong way
on a one way street
with a neon sign
that says, ‘Towed by NYC police
Do Not Ticket.'

I climb inside

I turn the key
it comes to  life.
Life goes on.