a couple bait shops,
novelty trap parlors,
all dotted south fork.
everything was made in
old-timey, wooden cabin
and the town knew no symmetry.
we pulled into the grocery store parking lot.
the store’s awning welcomed customers by
sagging without mercy.
we crossed the threshold,
entered into another time, space, culture.
the first sense to be stung was smell.
it smelled like cancer.
the kind that eats our grandparents
everyday in their stale, locked homes.
the woman at the register was ancient.
too old for retail.
she was clearly bitter, but
well polished in rustic hospitality.
and if i wasn’t already uncomfortable enough,
there were basketballs above the jellies on
who does that?