Car Music By Marissa Michel

Car Music

___ settle into the cheap leather seats of your silver Toyota
And let our bodies simmer in July heat
I am drowning
In sweat and so are you and so are
The children selling hot lemonade that costs too much
On a run-down street we pass by
We ___ over the radio as usual
I want jazz
Jazz like Gillespie or Ella or
Chick Corea and his keyboard
Jazz like the songs my mother plays while she drinks
In sunlight on lazy Sunday mornings
___ you don’t
You want to ___ about how
Michael Jordan definitely pushed off Bryon Russel
__  God referees should learn to do their damn jobs
I am listening to the poor engine ___ along
While the air conditioner groans and heaves
Like it’s on the last leg of a marathon ___
God it’s too hot to be driving around in this oven
Talking about nothing
I stare out the window and want to ___
Because the sky is just so perfect
Just so
Perfectly blue
And now you are upset ___ I said I don’t know
Anything about basketball
But you don’t know anything about ___
Maybe that __ a good thing
Maybe I am happy I don’t know anything about basketball
I know the empty air is ___ heavy so
I turn on the radio
And you roll your eyes and keep on driving and don’t say
Even though the music is too ___


By Marissa Michel


Marissa Michel is a second generation American of Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage. She served as the 2020 Prince George’s County Youth Poet Laureate. In 2020 she received multiple national gold medals for poetry in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, and an American Voice nomination. She was also the recipient of the 2020 Diaz-Mattison Poetry Prize. Her newest works can be found in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Online Gallery, Love Letters To the Mothers and Fathers of the African Diaspora, and the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival. More information about her can be found on

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