Smokers outside the court
Eyes open against the road
suburban trees still sleeping
in their star-spangled annihilation,
branches glistening with nightmares
all soaked up in moon-sweat.
I’ve driven out for so little
cigarettes, today’s headlines,
the trap-door of the store sprung
in a daily madness of groceries,
a sarcastic refrigerator
taunting me with reflections
of a sleepless beard.
I pick up four cans for the road
throwing money at the cashier
with the white-trash name tag
she smiles as if it means something,
drops coins into my open palm
and I walk away pretending
I didn’t notice the curl of her lip
that never gets old.
The truck shakes, takes a gasp
as I turn left onto the avenue;
court is already adjourned
as two men throw spit
across the sidewalk
a vacant woman stands watching
behind her dark rimmed glasses,
she holds a smoke in her right hand
not flinching before the raw meat
searing itself on the heat of the win
a stagnant wall I hide behind
in the drunk veil of morning.