Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sunrise Over 7-11

Every day the tarot reader puts on her pink bathrobe
and chain smokes on the sidewalk in front of her shop
with its neon sign in the shape of a palm.
Once a week she hires one of the homeless guys
who hangs out in the 7-11 parking lot
to sweep up the butts she’s tossed in the gutter.
One night we went to that 7-11 for emergency wine.
The woman behind the counter had red eyes
crazed with mascara and bright blue eye shadow.
She seemed frantic, and complained that once again
her replacement had not shown up for his shift.
You reached into the pocket of your purse
and took out a pair of plastic googly eyes
and put them on the counter for a tip.
The woman's eyes lit up and she broke into a grin.

The next morning I was woken up 
by the sun rising through the window
and you were there beside me, warm and real
I got up and closed the curtain 
and curled back up beside you

When I returned to the 7-11 that afternoon
the same worker was there again, or maybe she’d never left.
She was no longer wearing makeup
and didn't seem to recognize me.
As I left, there were no bums in the parking lot
and the neon hand in the window of the psychic
was still dark, even though
they should've opened hours before.
While you napped, heavy with hangover,
I stuck googly eyes on every bottle of pills 
in your medicine cabinet
then pulled the curtains open a crack,
just enough to peek out at the future.

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