By Rob Schlegel
I’m counting cash in the backseat
Of the Taurus. To Pop’s
Repeated question, “Am I even
Needed?” Mabel says, “I know the scene
I want! Older cats are cool, Pop,
I love you on those terms!”
Toby thinks he owns
The squeegee because his name
Is on it, but he can’t
Even hold a melody. Toby green
Stupid shirt (and his embroidery
Is shit). He strokes Mabel’s
Neck, but she don’t want
His Latin! Over plates of freezer-
Burned cactus, Pop says, “Tomorrow
I ink embarrassed koi, or at least
The tiny stags!” “What is it,”
Mother asks, “that will finally
Relieve you of this obsession?”
After dinner I’m smashing
Glass bottles, my hands vibrating —
Exquisitely-timed palsy —
Over beads that drop like hail
Into the furnace where I round them
For mother to arrange
Into waterfall scenes on fabric.
But she’s still in the H&M
Filling her bags with beads so
Venetian they cannot meet the eye.
Meanwhile some teens
Want to buy a glitter T with VISA.
“Shit no plastic here!” I say.
“How can I convince these kids
To pay with cash?” “Not my problem,
Bud!” Pop says from his desk
Where he’s busy sketching
Teams nutting in the orchard.
Toby puts his beanie on,
But it’s only August 3rd! Mabel’s tossing
Gourds in fields destroyed
By another mall, one big
Meditation, soft, and already made.