check engine light [poem]

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I’ve never been much of a car person
never really understood much about the insides
beyond the basics
I can check the oil level
top it off as needed
but there’s something familiar between
taking care of my car’s  problems
and taking care of myself
the check engine light flashes
and I startle
where did this come from
this random kick and stutter of the entire body
I take it to a mechanic
get the codes read to find out
the designated problem and solution
but it’s never that easy
my car gives vague explanations
hints at a cylinder misfire
but doesn’t tell us why
what’s wrong
what does it need to be corrected
trying to fix my car’s problem
is just like trying to fix my depression
I’m fine
functioning normally for long periods
when suddenly I’m sad
melancholy
I look for a trigger
and find nothing different from before the crash
I look for a solution
but there’s no magic cure for my heart’s misfire
so I sputter forward
hoping things will even out on their own
and the check engine light will stop flickering

-poem by Larissa Lee
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