Monday, April 20, 2009


John Updike (1978)

Always I wanted to do it myself
and envied the oily-handed boy
paid by the station to lift
the gun from its tail tin holster
and squeeze. That was power,
hi-octane or lo-, and now no-lead.

What feminism has done for some sisters
self-service has done for me.
The pulsing hose is mine, the numbers
race—the cents, the liquid tenths—
according to my pressure, mine!
I squeeze. This is power:

transparent, horsepower, blood
of the sands, bane of the dollar,
soul-stuff; the nozzle might jump
from my grip, it appears to tremble
through its fumes. Myself,
I pinch off my share, and pay.