Sometimes, living is a gas station at 2am.
Men with their elbows on the tooth-gaps
of rolled down windows.
A losing scratch ticket abandoned in a gutter.
It is fifteen-cent bananas in a tall wire basket
and the cashier, with his hair
tugged slick into a ponytail like an oiled fish.
Some nights, being-a-person means
cooling into the dark as your car heaves
heavier with each gallon of gasoline
you feed it. In the breeze, your skirt
slips along the bare of your thighs
and you wonder if the men with their elbows
on sills are watching. You hope
they are, though you feel you shouldn’t
hope these things. You weave your hips
as you move, like you are a shuttle on a loom
and every man is a strand of yarn to be snared.
The nozzle clicks off twice:
once when the tank is full, and once
when you overfill it. The nozzle
is a pistol you want to pocket.
You want to hold up the convenient store
with it. You want it cold against your skin
like an extra rib.
Sometimes life is a gas station
in the void between night and morning.
You let gasoline pool in your hand
without anyone seeing. You love
the vapor of it. The swell in your lungs.
Whenever you arrive at these places,
you hope the air will be sharp with that scent
to wind around your tongue—
another hope you feel you should not have.