They raised an altar of abandoned tires,
set it afire,
chanted portions of the 1957
Chevy Owner's Manual
to summon a virgin.
But any likely candidates were driven off
by the smell of licorice gone bad
before they could be awed
by a vision of 1957
beginning to shine again,
rising on phoenix limbs from black smoke
assembling itself into whitewalls,
flames growing into chrome strips,
a hood ornament.
still lacking a virgin,
were forced to settle for feasting eyes
on youth's flawed innocence.
By dawn, they had left,
carried off, some say,
in the sun's chariot.