Saturday, September 24, 2011

Super Center

The young woman tells you it will be
at least an hour and fifteen minutes
before they can even get your car into a bay
like she's trying to talk you out of the
$26 oil and filter change you're 5,000 miles
overdue for.

Nobody really wants to do their job.

You don't have much choice, the car is making a sound
that seems to indicate that instead of having five
healthy quarts of oil churning through its circulatory system
there's nothing there but a smear of slick, black mud.
It's arteries are hardening,
a stroke is inevitable, so, you have to wait.

You walk the aisles of the place and think about
who you will become after the status change
and there's an emptiness in the distance,
blurry, don't bring it into focus
leave it out there.

You go to the bathroom, it's empty,
and you remember security camera footage of a small child lured
into an identical restroom in another state by a teenager
and strangled.

This is no place to die,
and on the wall of the stall
there is a distasteful joke
and a message
Escape This Hell

Back in the aisles,
staring at one thousand varieties of cereal
for too long.

Middle-aged man by himself
walking slowly in the aisle
creep, some one's thinking, watch the kids.

I think about the instant grits, the butter flavored kind,
and am suddenly hopeless for everything,
so I escape to this thought of just hiking -
walking a trail on and on,
working hard, muscles tight, sweat running
getting somewhere,
and never stopping to think
or to look.

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