Irreplaceable photographs fall from
the rafters of an old barn where the sunshine
is revolted by the shade.
Broken store front windows in the dustpans
of the night crew all lean against
their brooms just as it’s day again
and everything is peaceful.
The rail yard screams like a new born
made of metal so colossal in its infancy.
All anyone can talk about is haircuts
and the liquor store they live near,
with the best beer in the way back
of the freezer.
A young clerk ties her hair back
at the register she stands at
for the top half of the day.
So many lines of people talk to her,
and shake their rusted car keys
as a soundtrack over everything
I only make the time to go to stores
like hers because she always
makes things easy for us people
who cannot stand just to chit chat
while the cash is being changed.
She lets the ash fall on her chest
and hands me my receipt for only gasoline,
and as I leave I wander through the wrong door
into distant days so far out in the future.
An old man stands alone out in the parking lot
with arms outstretched to taunt
the local drivers.
It’s been a lifetime game of chicken
on the off chance someone finally calls
his bluff, but no one does because we all
are sure he means it.