Oil Change

by Randall Weiss


Oil filters into fingertips and under my nails,

stains my callouses, clothes, driveway.


Now it’s five thousand miles (millions of years) old,

drained into a tub I’ll take to the disposal downtown


where it still won’t cease its pouring, dripping, leaking.

It follows me like the scent of a drugstore cologne,


shrugging off shower and scrub, course brush

that rubs my skin raw but cannot erase the stain.


Even when I pour five new quarts over the old

cylinder heads, the used oil remains with me.

Originally published in This Land: Winter 2016