Little Red Car

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The Father’s heart is a little red car
he parks in the garage with his golf clubs and gun.

The Father’s heart is his father’s heart in a wheelchair
with a black hat on.

The Father’s heart is a truckload of tomatoes,
a dead Vargas girl tucked
under its mounds of waxy fruit.

The Father’s heart bleeds and bleeds into a glass tumbler.
He drinks it over ice every day at half past five.

When The Father dozes off, the moon creeps up
the walls of his big house, its oleander eye

making the trees flicker outside.
And the leaves

on the ghost trees quiver. He wakes and looking out
sees his children in their green, glowing shapes.

The Father’s heart leaps with longing; it reels,
but the windows are shut, sealed tight.

And nothing, not even his God, gets in.

Little Red Car by Michelle Bitting

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About Author

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Michelle Bitting has work published or forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Prairie SchoonerNarrativeRiver Styx, Crab Orchard Review, Passages North, Linebreak, diode, Rattle, Anti—the L.A. Weekly and others. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and as the Weekly Featured Poet on Verse Daily. In 2007, Thomas Lux chose her full-length manuscript, Good Friday Kiss, as the winner of the DeNovo First Book Award and C & R Press published it in 2008. Her book Notes to the Beloved, won the 2011 Sacramento Poetry Center Award and will be published in 2012. Recently, Michelle won the Beyond Baroque Foundation Award. Michelle has taught poetry in the U.C.L.A. Extension Writer’s Program, at Twin Towers prison, and is proud to be an active California Poet in the Schools. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University, Oregon. Visit her at www.michellebitting.com.

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