Gasoline in Small Doses

Part of him still wants a change counter
the kind,
that clip on the belt

Of a fat man in a yellowed white shirt
who smiled at your dad

Fetched him a couple packs of smokes
before anyone was ashamed of them.
He wouldn’t use it,
no damn use for it at all,
it would just sit in a goddamn drawer until he found it
years later
while cleaning out a file cabinet
or a nightstand
and he’d turn it over for a moment

His hands
remembering the smell of gasoline and aftershave
and wondering why the first time a match touched

His father’s cigarette it

Smelled so sweet
while every other pull on that goddamn cancer stick

Smelled the way grey tastes
and he knew
holding that change counter,
that he should just take the quarters out of the damn thing

throw it away
but he wouldn’t,
wouldn’t really even think too hard about it,
it would go right back in that damn drawer
where it would sit for years

it would move with him from home to house
probably in a box labeled “Junk Drawer”
that his kids would find
maybe thirty or forty or fifty years later
chuckle at how “Dad liked stuff like this”
and they wouldn’t know the smell of

Gasoline and aftershave

The way those cigarettes smelled sweet and grey
and maybe

They would even forget to take out the quarters,


Chucking it into a box.
Part of him knows

all this is true

and wants one anyway.




He hates sand
resents their untold numbers,
exhausted boulders
grinding pornographically
inexorably reduced
passive substrate for seagull shit Pollack reproductions
scoured, unclean.

A walk each morning at dawn,
he loathes the sunrise
presumptuous rays stalk the horizon
obliterate the embrace of night-time anonymities

found a glass ball
green, spectacularly delicate
a fragile maritime impossibility
lying in the sand
It popped when he crushed it under foot.