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Father behind
A black, leather wheel
(That spins like cartilage in his pained back)
Of a psychedelic, flaming eyeball on the hood;
Of an 80's-style, cylindrical red and blue pop can on the roof;
Of a dead father's racecar number, 29,
Plus 100.
The oval track where he holds
Nothing back,
Unlike life,
His unfulfilled life;
A catastrophe that circles back upon itself.

What did he ever want out of life?
Who knows with a tight-lipped father
More concerned with the pitching mechanics of his boys
Or the death of a beloved racecar driver
Or perfecting a paint job on someone else's classic automobile
(While his own rusts and dents as a baseball backstop)
Than with his own wants.

Perhaps it's his father he wants back
To show how to drive a jalopy in a circle
To show how to raise a kid
Selflessly and with kindness and with firmness
Without alcohol as a standby.

Wrecks in the corners,
Side-swiped in the straightaway,
Disabled with a flat back


Already slowed
His engine falters, smokes, and implodes.
The detritus of a dead car litters the grayed asphalt.

Pushed to the pits,
(A Marlboro Red waits for when he unclenches his gritted teeth),
White knuckles grip the black, leather wheel
Of his lifeless

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