Knock Off

A school bus that just does circles
through the neighborhood and never
stops is making so much noise I cannot think.
It’s like a garbage truck that’s empty so
the hollow shell makes sounds
that resonate much further without weight.
When I leave the house the neighbors
are smoking in the rain debating
about the dogs let off the leash.

I hear my engine start and know the car
is getting old and that I am getting old
at a rate I’ve let build up into a stride.
The streets are just one blind punch away
from being empty, but it’s the bar hours
so people are filtering from downtown out
to the edges, where they’re kept on desperate
days and endless nights that become silent
over time.

We meet up like we always do, at that drive in
where the screens are falling down
with every summer, and the air would smell
like blood with extra metal.
She waits for me leaning against her blue
hatchback that she pays for every month
with too much money.

I remember the taste of absinthe mixed
with soda that had a knock off name
for a discount we relied on.
We only got the fancy stuff because she
picked the cabinet locks with just her nails.
She loved the look of airplane trails
that sprawled across the sky, I asked her why,
but she just said it was a secret.

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