5.09 / September 2010

UNDER THE BUZZ OF FLUORESCENCE AT THE VERMILLION SERVICE PLAZA

listen to this poem

A bowlegged guy with bloodshot eyes stands two urinals
away in scuffed Frye boots, a black ball cap, a cell phone

tucked between his shoulder and cheek.
It’s 8 a.m. He smells of sweat and whiskey.

So, I’m eating my fries when I realize I fucked
every one of those girls at the table beside me.

He unzips his pants like striking a match,
coughs a laugh, flips the bill of his hat back.

Hey Mike. Stay awake. Call ya back in a sec.
He scoffs, spits up phlegm on a urinal cake.

I piss, glazed eyes fixed on 216-3599
etched in the grout of mint green tiles.

I imagine girls with white tic-tacs cradled in their tongues,
tipped in teeth, never chewed, just sucked and swallowed;

denim skirts in winter, crossed legs and bruised thighs,
Italian dressed salads, plastic forks, paper napkins;

cobalt eye shadow smudged on lids like rainclouds,
small talk puddled in mouths at the brim of glossed lips;

girls who wear a stranger’s skin like a jacket, girls
who pant out of habit and fake it when they come.