Spill-O’s Fender Bender

By Colin Dodds

Spill-O’s destination is a rueful interruption

after hours in a church whose confessional is a driver’s seat

and whose altar is the distance

The crack of the rental car’s plastic bumper

kicks the thrust-and-parry recriminations

of the jagged karmic wheel into motion

He chooses not to think about it

Choosing not to think about it is how he got here,

and possibly the only way to keep going

Spill-O smiles with gritted teeth

and explains the condition of the car

into a courtesy phone

It’s a tale of recklessness and fecklessness,

calamity, duplicity and apathy, of a lazy cover-up

and its unsurprising discovery

The phone woman has heard Spill-O’s tale all before

He can hear her eyelids kiss shut in disappointment

as he turns again from the truth

He takes the pills and chooses not to think

about how even the most lighthearted pilgrimage

seems to unearth so many glaring moral failures

And at the airport’s tens-a-barrier ribbon,

Spill-O becomes a slightly worse person

each time the line folds onto itself


Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred and seventy publications and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is also the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com