17th Street

Moon Man 2
By Kevin Ridgeway

She bakes the French bread
In the backroom
Smoking half a cigarette
Underneath the 3 am moonlight
The back door ajar
Massaging her hair
Underneath her employee cap
Adjusting her upside down badge

8am rolls around in a stupor
And she announces this French bread
Is on sale into a stale old PA microphone
With a genius for wordplay
And a savvy for sales

3PM rolls along like the
Morning didn’t exist
And she pulls onto 17th street
With a wedding cake in her trunk
Up to the winding hills
Of Anaheim,
Searching for the stray balloons

6PM approaches, time to
Start counting endless
Receipts and quirky scribbling
On them to make the bank
For the dozens upon dozens
Of goods sold that day

She comes home for me to
Massage her neck, falling
Asleep with a lit cigarette
In her mouth
I put it out.

Originally appeared in Bank-Heavy Press: Robo-Book

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