The gas station closes at 10 pm…
Behind miscellaneous isles,
Mike hums obscurely
in the back.
Massaging the floor
with a mop,
his head curved
like a spigot.
The background music tonight is beautiful,
if you understood background music that is.
seems to be in stock.
Solicitors chew gum with
Rednecks turn auto trader magazines
steering themselves back to youth and glory.
litter rows of sweet candy
stating: “I want”
knocking M&M’s off there racks.
A man approaches with a “life is good” T-shirt
and I can’t help
but notice the stain on the back.
“If we had an intercom”, Ed says aloud,
“things here would run much smoother here.”
as if drunk Ed knew what an “intercom” was.
And in between consumers,
passing through the front door
and the obnoxious ding that follows,
Ed disappears into an unmarked car.
Takes another hit to
acknowledge the fact that problems never resolve themselves.
So why should he?
Mike confessed in private that he was
human. It’s weird what honesty
a place like this
brings in people.
And by the redness in his cheeks
I could tell he was serious.
I didn’t react,
not even a sentimental gesture.
I Just looked up at the clock,
and asked him with frankness: “who keeps shitting in the bathroom sink?”
Its better that way.
The biggest weirdo’s come in here.
And my first feeling is concern
when their pockets are empty.
Who made that my job anyway?
Some with Rolexes and fake accents.
I remember once
asking a man
about a scar that was
peeling down his forehead.
When he looked at me,
slowly turned into intensity.
I thought for a moment
that his face was glitching.
Like I’d accidentally cut the “stupid wire”
in the compartment that controlled
And under malfunction,
he stutters the word: “Prii-ss-onn.”
Then, still pausing, he finally says:
“Guess who I had to beat for that!?”
I snickered, with pristine form,
as I politely blurted out: