After My Father Began Experiencing Symptoms of an Autoimmune Disease
I named the old Ford Escort after Princess Diana –
somewhere I read Diana
too, drove an Escort. This one was shit, I parked it on one-
ways so others would veer
or stick their heads out and watch it, like it was a lady. A
lady whose nipples
protruded beneath fitted cotton. Diana died in a traffic
collision. After my father
received his yellow cab license from the TLC in ’88, he
drove Billy Joel all over.
Joel was a drunkie monkey, a gambler. Would sit in the
back seat and play poker
on his laptop. Driving Joel was a sort of
pilgrimage – a badmouthing
of past wives, past lives, the Third Reich, Ronald Reagan,
managers, public schools,
and America. To hell with it, they’d declare, going hell-for-
Long Island. Both Joel and my father got into motorcycle
accidents. Not together.
The junk hunk Escort has almost killed me several times,
with its failing brakes,
pinhole leak in the radiator, but it keeps alive the fail-fasts
of royalty, fame,
and all that to which my father says to hell with.
Noor Shahzad is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, where she is studying poetry. Between classes and writing, she works as a teaching assistant at 826 Boston, a non-profit youth literacy program for underserved students.