when i opened the hood of the seventy eight buick century

which had been running funny all morning

sitting on top of the carburetor boiling off a visible column of fumes, eight ounces of gasoline

i lowered the hood gently and went across street to think it over

shaking and idling in park choking on the too rich mixture

it wouldn't kill

in defiance of death i went back reached through the power window if you so much as touched the switch it rattled all the way open and slammed down inside the door

and turned the engine off