Thursday, May 28, 2015


Late enough evening, the car lights and neon
restaurant lights and sodium streetlights take over
from sunlight. The panhandlers have abandoned
their cardboard signs on their respective
corners. One lady with red hair and grey roots
pushes a fully-loaded shopping cart along
the frontage road, additional cargo stowed
in plastic grocery bags tied to the outside, balanced
both sides like ballast, should she wish to right
the ship. There’s a line at the Starbucks
where they still let just anyone use the bathroom,
and where a boy, maybe sixteen with stretched-out
ear lobes and hair mushrooming up like a blond
shaving brush tells the old man in line next to him
that Starbucks has a secret Frappuccino menu
where you can order a Pink Starburst or Dirty
Valentine, but the old guy says, no, I’ll just take a shit
and then mix my own drink, thank you very much,
but I would like to know that lady’s secrets, he says,
pointing at the green store sign, illuminated now
and calling sweetly like a siren on the rocks.