September 18, 2022

Deuce And A Quarter




this happened not so long ago
it actually mattered whether the back of his hair

touched the collar on his shirt

and if it did, he was told to get a haircut

don’t want to smudge the company name ya know

what is this, the 50’s?

customers who would be horribly offended I’m sure

nowadays of course anything goes as people try

to outfreak each other

he’d get there early in the morning

after pancakes, eggs and steak, or a wish omelette

setting out new stock in the store, straightening the old

fuel pumps, water pumps, alternators, starters, disc & drum brakes

air fresheners and all that other junk

at lunch he’d go behind the building with his co-worker Luis 

take a broomstick and bring a tennis ball and play some old baseball

in the loading dock

high flys, pop-ups, strikeouts, balls off the wall

meaning they hit a closed loading dock door on the fly

a prodigious blast

on days it rained they’d go out to eat

wendy’s salad bar on fridays because his mexican friend Luis was a good catholic

on days he wasn’t screwing around on his wife

Luis would talk about this puerto rican girl he was seeing on the side

I don’t know much about catholicism but that had to be against some kind of tenet

or on some days they’d drive into the barrio

getting chicken and fries that you knew was good

because the grease soaked the bag by the time they got back to eat

eating and listening to songs on the radio

talking about what they’d do if they had 

the chance to do it —but for now

it’s dead men walking managers and deader than dead customers

working a dead end job 

ghosts that would come in and fly about and act like poltergeists

when they didn’t get their way

so one day he had e-nuff and decided 

to head down florida way one way

packed up all his troubles in his old deuce and a quarter and split

like the sky touched by lightning