Talking Shop

K. A. Markee

Always at odds, up to his callused elbows
In engines, filters, rotors, brakes and cable,
His furrowed brow reckoning like a bellows
And fingers thick, obsidian — capable
Of snapping bolts would barter from my own
An off-set ratchet wrench or oil-pan,
Always returned with curses or a moan,
Smeared in the grease and grime of a transmission.
Now and again he’d slide from underneath
The Detroit chassis, then closing a weathered eye,
Relight the stump clenched in his scarlet teeth
And tell me which make and model to buy:
Of woman, truck, or single malt whiskey —
The rust and rot of small town chivalry.

K. A. Markee has an MFA degree from USM, Stonecoast low-residency writing program.