It is untold when she will focus on me
in the cramped store with the mesh grate window gates
strewn with receipts and bills like a pawnshop
I put my fingers from my parents in the grate and pull
until the knuckles, peaks and valleys turn searing white,
the red tips point outward toward Soto Street
“I was in The Decline of Western Civilization,”
she says, “but I was only a baby.” She sells beverages.
Ginseng and Malta. It takes way too long to pay by card.
“I’m closing now.” Outside I pour it into a glass.
“King Taco” rotates above my head. Lumbering metal.
“Smoke,” she says, indicating the sewer, “al pastor.”
“Steam,” I say, perplexed, “it’s steam.” Metal,
tanks of sorts, great round things stenciled with
advertisements, lumbering past, floating past.
“…it doesn’t matter anyways,” she says, “this part
of California will be annihilated.” Yes. Sanity. Arm-
ageddon, voice of reason. “I’m from…” I begin, “from…”
Funny feeling. I look. The glass was chipped.
The lip. My throat. Felt. Nothing in particular.
But things can hide in your throat for years.