WHY I OPTED FOR THE MORE EXPENSIVE OIL AT JIFFY LUBE

This one is better for a car as old as yours, he says.
It won’t glob up, he says. And spring is almost here,
so of course you need a thicker oil.

And I say, So with this good oil my car will run better
and it’ll be washed and waxed every time I get in it?

Yes, he says. And you’ll never have to put another drop of gas in it.

And when I start the car, a big bag of money will appear in the back seat?

Yes, he says. And cash will shoot out your exhaust pipe
and people will be glad when they see you coming.

And will I look rested? Like I’ve gotten plenty of sleep every night?

That goes without saying, he says.

And when I roll over in bed and look at the man
who says he loves me, will I finally believe he loves me?

You, he says, won’t be able to believe anything else. Your heart
will soak up the goodness and you will smile and beam and sigh
like a pig in mud.

And what about my parents? I ask. Will this oil keep them from dying?
They’re very old.

Let’s call them and tell them the happy news, he says.

-Julie Price Pinkerton, Rattle

There’s more than a trace of magical realism in this poem that made me fall instantly for it.

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