Perie Longo
photo by Rick Carter

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A Widow Discovers Her Tires Are Bald When the “Check Engine” Light Comes On

Thirst: Kuwait Poetry Workshop

What I Forgot to Write

Fishing With My Father

What We Live For...

Peanut Butter

Art Helps...

Playing Crash


Dedication (Douglas Family Preserve)

"What Do Women Want?"



Marriage & Family Therapist | Registered Poetry Therapist | Poet

Baggage Claim, WordTech Editions 2014 ($18), The Privacy of Wind ($10) and With Nothing Behind But Sky: A journey through grief ($12) can be ordered directly from Perie.
To order, contact her at perie(at)west(dot)net, visit, or phone her at 805-687-1619.

A Widow Discovers Her Tires Are Bald
When the “Check Engine” Light Comes On

Just days before he slipped off, he asked
if I had the loose piece of side chrome attached,
the oil changed, he didn’t want his car falling apart,
never mind me, the unmechanical one, who rode this life
alongside him, each with our own separate tasks
and now they’re all mine. I think the car might need oil
again, like I could use, some zip, but can’t figure out
where the hood latch is. On my knees, I squeeze my head
under the driving wheel panel, such a mystery of gadgets,
so many mysteries to solve to keep things running in his loss.
No latch to be found I sit back on my heels,
then notice the tires are almost bald,
something like my hair coming out in clumps these months,
and wonder how that happened overnight. I barely
go anywhere while he just up and vanishes—
with no directions. Maybe he’s been traveling
while I sleep, letting the good times roll.


Published in Rattle #19, Summer, 2003.

Included in With Nothing Behind But Sky. You can order With Nothing Behind But Sky from [email protected] for $12.00 plus $2.50 S & H per order.