closing early

You said you would be 
open at the store you own,
said you would be open until 4pm. 
And here it is 3pm and your stomach
tells you you’re hungry, but really 
maybe that’s just your mind telling you
you’re bored. And you heart 
telling you you’re lonely. 
And your mirror-pond soul reflecting back
a blue light buzz from staring at the computer
for far too long today. Today, 
when you said you would write a poem. 
Write a poem and stay
open until 4pm. 
And not eat the last CBD chocolate bar in the store. 
They didn’t sell that well anyway, 
so what does it matter?
Outside the diminutive store,
a smear of asphalt,
space for maybe seven cars. 
Unless one of those
big jacked-up pickup trucks comes in,
then maybe 
you can only park five or six.
You watch the people come and go 
to the coffee shop next door. 
A few a day mistakenly trundle into the small store
you sit in, we’re open until 4pm today, folks. 
They mostly look ashamed, 
after the confusion dissipates, when they walk
into your odd shop, expecting to see and feel 
the comfortable familiarity of coffee shop. You smile 
at them as they wheel back around. 
You both make some noises with your mouths, 
but rarely speak actual words. Sometimes your eyes match 
the smile on your mouth. 
They shouldn’t feel ashamed. 
You read about a guy in the Midwest 
who died in a car accident.
He was watching porn
on his phone
while driving.
Pants down, jerking off, the whole thing. 
And he got into an accident, was ejected
through his windshield, and died on the road.
Pants down, 
porn playing on phone. You wonder
of the arc his body
made as it twirled through the sky.
You wonder what he was chasing.
It’s said
that since our solar system is ripping
through the finite infinity
of our sighing Space, 
at something like 70,000 
miles per hour, 
it’s said that our planetary orbit
is less
cyclical than oblong. Like we are
running up ahead and then
falling behind. Sprinting to catch back up.
Perhaps sometimes, 
in our vaguely desperate need to chase,
we find ourselves,
our pants down, graceful
in our momentary flight. Arcing 
against the light. 
We should not be ashamed.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ghost-story-cover-wide.jpg

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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