Pimp My Ride (First appeared in The New Yorker)
Probability, like time, is its own dimension.
The ’86 Chevy Suburban laced by rust,
pocked with bird poop, antenna wiggling
in its Bondo-clogged hole is only one way
the story begins. In another, we never
bought the blue behemoth—we bought
a ’63 Oldsmobile from a lady named Dolores.
In another, Dolores drove into a tree before we
were ever even born; in another, we owned a house
with a garage that kept the rain off, the rust out,
and the paint nice; in another, it was all mine,
we’d never met; in another, yours and someone else’s.
Likewise after the ride is pimped—metallic flames
in red and pink unzipping across its sparkly black
body, blitz of chrome, titanium woofers, enough
silver satin inside to line nine caskets—this
is only one story: another’s bright white
and blinds like an elephant made of sunspots;
another’s plantain-green and full of gold;
another’s purple with a sink in the back,
where we’re arguing; in the back of another, high
and high-fiving; in another, going at it
like two teens made of monster truck tires.
Jennifer was born in Lancaster, California—home to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, the Space Shuttle, and Chris Wells. Her poems have appeared four times in the Best American Poetry series (1997, 2003, 2006, and 2011) as well as the anthologies Great American Prose Poems, From Poet to Present and Best American Erotic Poems. Her work has also appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Fence, McSweeney’s, and Bomb. She is currently at work on her first novel.