You are so lonely you
chat up the dodgy guy parking cars
at the Italian restaurant, the place
you could never afford, not even
a plate of lusted-after spaghetti but you are
so hungry for conversation the garlic
scented smile he tosses in the air
becomes a white tablecloth of love.
Even though you’ve never clearly
seen his face in the diesel-scented dark,
you miss your bus so you can stand on his corner,
dissolving in the drizzle. You are so lonely
you pretend not to care
when, shift over, he drives off in a pepperoni car
and doesn’t return,
leaving you alone, salivating at the laughter
wafting from the revolving door.
I am as dry as a Nebraska field
in late September. My bones
rustle just like the dead corn stalks
when I walk, and I’m lost in a maze
Of my own invention. No one
stands above me with a herald’s flag
to show me the way out.
What would you do? Lie down
in the narrow confines of time?
I keep walking,
Waiting for a lightning strike
To ignite the spark and burn
the whole place down.
A piece of butterscotch, not her favorite\
but easier to reach.
Sticky evidence of a child’s secret pact
with herself, to take
what she has not been given.
Basket of snakes. She can’t breathe
so she conceals the mirror of his charms, escapes
in the pre-dawn, bargaining with the stones
and thistles that burn her feet.
The aisles are coated in a foreign tongue
and the lines slither into dusk.
She keeps losing her place.
The proof she exists has been denied—
there must be a way
around the locked gate.