Friday, June 28, 2019

Drive Into the Storm

An old man shopping at Goodwill
has been in the housewares aisle for an hour
sorting and organizing the glassware
into size, shape, color.
He remains focused the entire time,
his face tightening briefly into a slight smile
when he completes a set.

A woman comes into the café, laden with bags.
She picks up and replaces every sandwich
in the deli case, yelping and barking periodically,
before finally buying one. Everyone is staring at her.
She suddenly starts screaming
“I ain’t no hollaback grill! I ain’t no hollaback grill!”
before storming out, dropping and picking up
her bags, yelling the rest of the song
as she scurries away

Just inside the Vietnamese restaurant
stands a full size white artificial Christmas tree,
fully decked out even though it’s almost February.
The waiter wears a black baseball cap
and a t-shirt that reads FBI: Female Body Inspector.  
Salty pho ga, rubbery banh cuon.
The waiter asks if we want our leftovers wrapped up
and we say yes with phony enthusiasm

Black clouds roll in like a tide
swallowing up the wisps of gray and white
I slip into the car just as the first fat drops
explode against the glass
The floor is covered with sandwich wrappers
and empty take-out boxes
and the mismatched jars I use for drinking glasses
The back seat is filled with garbage bags
piles so high I can't see out the back window
Black clouds heading west
I turn the ignition, the radio shrieks
and I peel out and drive straight into the static

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