Semblance of an oasis in the warm, cricket-rich dark,
illumined with a steady glow of muted iridescence.
The teller is fully-fleshed, folds unhidden by oversized clothes,
reading a bad book while waiting for customers:
souls seeking gas—the world’s uncontested elixir—
and the hope offered through lottery tickets.
Pages of a romance blend into memory…
a man in a bar smiling, one side-tooth missing,
delivering cliché after cliché, and later the awkwardness
of foreign flesh on foreign flesh and following disappointment,
thinking, so this is it…before snapping back
as a customer opens the door, sounding a buzzer.
Bruised-green tattoos scrawl up and down one arm,
images of uncertainty, a groping for identity.
He prepays and leaves, each avoiding the exposure of a direct gaze.
Through the window in-between twists of red neon advertising,
she sees the man’s girlfriend, her glazed eyes failing to hide
a forlorn, nervous ignorance. He pumps the gas…
Fumes combine with exhaust as he sidles away.
The teller returns to her book.