When my handlers

they pile me

inside the black chevrolet

I may ash

but my money’s

what’ll melt

holes in the upholstery.

It’s my broker

Old Hickory

who’ll claim what I need to claim for me.

Who’ll handle

the wheel

like a mule left out in the rain.

It’s his job to see that my flanks steam.

When I spend him

he oversees how I bay.

Have you ever sang “my love” inside a black chevrolet

“must be a brand”

“a kind of”

“blind love”

(cue rain)

(it’s the job of the rain to disfigure

what it can’t wash away)

like my money inside my billfold inside a black chevrolet.

When I ash

it’s like hearing my life pass

inside a key change that’s the scourge of the American music industry.

Or like hearing

my life

but my life’s

cashing my life in at the penny arcade.

Have you ever sang “maybe millions” inside a black chevrolet

“of people”

“pass by”

“but they all disappear”

“from view.”

It’s the job of

Old Hickory

to make sure that he brokers the rain.

It’s the job of the ash in the lanterns down Ashland Place

to make sure that

they light us an entranceway to the sea.

I don’t want my life

(it’s the job of

my life to say)

to knot like the hair of Old Hickory

which breaks

when it crests

& burns more berserk than the sea.

It’s the job of the keys in a black chevrolet

to change hands from broker to broker.

And mine to ash

& smell life disfigure.

“But I only have eyes”

“for you.”

Danniel Schoonebeek’s first book of poems, American Barricade, was published by YesYes Books in 2014. It was featured as one of the year’s ten standout debuts by Poets & Writers and called “a groundbreaking first book that stands to influence the aesthetic disposition of its author’s generation” by Boston Review. His work has appeared in Poetry, Tin House, Iowa Review, Fence, BOMB, jubilat, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. He hosts the Hatchet Job reading series and edits the PEN Poetry Series. In 2015, Poor Claudia will release his second book, a travelogue called C’est la guerre.