Friday, February 3, 2012

Thursday Night Safeway Parking Lot

Thursday night Safeway parking lot
Empty excepting a few cars randomly
Waiting for their owner shoppers, clerks
And zombie-looking all night stockers

After a meander along empty aisles
Frozen food boxes stacked liked coffins
Vegetables stacked like bright corpses
Show my nagging hunger the door

Trading small bits of metal and paper
For small bits of metal, paper, plastic,
A small amount of strange green juice
Jill the clerk says something polite

I smile and say something polite too
And drift toward the automatic door
This side of Out is lit for a party
That side of In is lit for a funeral

From in I pass to Out leaving thoughts
Scattered among Hollywood magazines
Of faces everyone wants to know
Living the lives everyone wants to live

In the out emptiness reigns silent
Women vanish with their dome light
A young man scurries to hide
In the darkness of a battered car

Blacktop splattered with food, soda,
Coffee, water, oil, coolant, and some
Of my automatic steering fluid that
Escaped from its warm engine box

I grasp a plastic bag with C-batteries
Naked Green Engine drink with right
A key bundle and receipt with left hand
Smelling warmed liquids on asphalt

Pieces of torn cardboard and an orphaned
Receipt from Safeway’s companion stores
Maul my ankles briefly in a slight breeze
Then flit away toward shadowed night

My sore feet slog macadam smells
Mysterious floating streetlights push
My shadow against curbs blurring its line
Multiplying my name in rhythmic time