Toyota Yaris

by Dan J. Vice
Featured Art: Kim and Mark in the Red Car – Nan Goldin

The repeated syllable in Toyota Yaris
The “ya ya” at the heart of Toyota Yaris
The 2 y’s that feel like 5 y’s
and I’m far too wise to fall
for the sound of it
The roll around in your mouth of it
The rounding of your mouth like the slow slope of the roof of it
Toyota Yaris
The squat hunched hood and the back half with the hatchback
The silhouette like the cat arching its back Toyota Yaris
The dash Toyota Yaris, the seat Toyota Yaris
No part of the whole, no part of the car not Yaris
The eighty thousand miles and counting, and counting
The tires that ride round the edge of a dime
Spin a donut so tight it’s a Hostess Donette
By the grace of the artist who made the car
Have Toyota will Yaris
I didn’t know what my life was lacking, wasn’t looking
for an answer to the what-is-my-problem, but one night I waltzed
onto the lot and the rest as they say is Yaris
To name the world is to change it wrote Freire
and I am changed, enchanted by the chant of it
You, Toyota, you toy, Toyota
You, toy Toyota, yada yada
Toyota Yaris. This is not
sponsored content, it’s
an incantation, a thanksgiving prayer

Because a group of men at a table in a room
invented a phrase that invented a feeling
I think I really love you, you Toyota Yaris
And how is it that that is a feeling that is?


Dan J. Vice earned his MFA at Eastern Washington University and teaches at the
University of Indianapolis. He lives with his wife, their son, and two Toyotas.

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