The Lexus Automobile


Stopped in the lane to my left

It told me much that is good and much that is wrong in life.


All that is good--

Its curves are descended from Greek curves

Gracing marble statues standing in clear light.

Its lines reflect the design of gardens

At Versailles and Vienna.

The shape of its lights, the way its glass

Is harnessed to its metal,

The trim of its entire black body—

All tell me of the power of gifts well used.


All that is wrong—

It is stopped but it pants with desire

To race ahead and all the while

Inhaling the air of the commons, and

Eating fuel stored in tank and battery, and

Expelling noxious fumes into the very air

That I must breathe.

Its tires were made from sap bled in some Sumatran forest, and

Its steel and plastic were made by wrenching

Coal and ore from mountains,

Leaving open sores that will not heal. 


Now the traffic signal changes, and

The black Lexus and I move on.