I turned on Channel 20
in the faceless, plastic hotel room.
Real-time story, documentary,
soliciting, you know…
Curvy, drop-dead Latina female officer
posed as a hooker:
miniskirt, long boots, big bust,
patrolled the corner
by the pharmacy as
the GM SUV stopped,
She leaned, exposed her
barely hidden treasure,
and they got him!
He slowly stepped out, limping.
Walking with a cane, bald head,
older man, face invisible,
legally required digital spot
blurred his face
on the TV screen.
Three muscular cops holding him
had a hard time putting on the cuffs:
the cane, probably bad back.
He could not bend backward
and twist his arms.
He was led away
into the police van for booking.
Gorgeous Latina added lipstick
to her plump lips.
The backup crew took position
behind the Walmart truck,
watching their bait.
I switched to the History Channel
and watched for a while
American GIs advancing in the jungle,
and Captain Franklin P. Eller
talking on the field phone
held by the South Vietnamese serviceman
during the Tet Offensive.
Then I fell asleep
before tomorrow’s early meeting,
before the quick omelet in the coffee shop downstairs
with unforgettable sunny Polish waitress Renata,
who has not passed her exams yet
and is stuck in the joint,
hopefully not for long.
N.J. State Highway
The strips of dead, fluorescent life
stream sightlessly away.
They shed the cold and crackling light
along the state highway.
The moaning curvatures of turns
are the only ones to call
for anyone. The roadside malls
are the spaces of no recall.
Eternity of the empty stores
is sealed by a concrete wall.
There hangs above the parking lot
the lunar, dim eyeball.
Gas stations are the only nests
of alienated warmth,
where Poles, Chicanos, and Koreans
are transparently boxed.
They smoke and eat and listen to
their everlasting gibberish,
the glossolalia of the world
that sounds like: You make a wish,
but reads—“Attendant has no cash.”
They are forbearers and the guards
of morning yet to come.
At night these are the outposts
with the cigarettes and gum.
There nobody leaves a trace
when passing the vastness of
the black, suburban paradise
where the only light in the neighborhood
comes from a distant loft.