Wednesday, August 10, 2016


A black SUV circles the parking lot
from its underside dangle a number of socks
filled with something heavy, a dozen of them swaying as the car
makes its turns slick as oil
bumping together like heavy dugs, brown with grease,
nearly but never quite grazing the asphalt except
when the vehicle hits a speed bump.
The windows are tinted and the driver's eyes are shielded
by mirrored shades and the back seat is filled
with a pile of garbage bags filled with adult diapers.
The only storefront in the strip mall that is not vacant
 is the bagel place where I sit, trying not to ogle
the fresh-faced college girls behind the counter
with their ponytails swishing from the backs of their sports caps
Instead I stare out the window, watching those black birds circle,
watching the clouds bunch up and disperse
and bunch up again, watching the SUV pass
every five to seven minutes. I absently stir my coffee
and fail to notice the time or the pink glob
of salmon-flavored cream cheese clinging to my
mustache, though I notice it now, now that it's too late.
Don't ask me how I know what's in those garbage bags
in the back seat, or why I don't know what's in
the socks, or what I think their purpose is. Instead, ask me how
my bagel was, or what flavor. Ask me which one
of these freckled girls is my favorite. Ask me anything
not related to that car out there, or why the driver
shoots me a grin every time he drives past.

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