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