ISSUE 7: JUNE/JULY 2017 / POETRY

“Shopping Cart to the Moon” by Michael Anthony Reyes

Self-imposed parking lot security man with beach ball belly,
             plunked on a party rental plastic chair, fiddles
toothpick in mouth, waves a cane at the rumble
             of Gramma’s shopping cart, which we
hang from for dear life because
             touch cement, lose your foot,
we say and veer left, Gramma dancing this broken
             wheel, this cart a hobbler, which forces feet to
ground,
a shriek, that doesn’t count
             the way this isn’t summer camp,
some school kids will say
             when we return in September,
which is to say security man ain’t much camp counselor
             but Gramma’s wheels keep gunning,
those disabled twins, a few doors before home, smacking
            their faces against a window because they want out,
howl at the wheels running through pavement cracks
            when my cousin giggles Gramma turtle bite
pinches her, borderline call-protection-services

            like the one time we did for play,
which reminds me of fat boy Mickey
            when we built a swing, all wood and rope,
and knew it would bust, but there he went,
            ass plant, nearly taking the clothing line with him, loud
as this rumble, breaking waves, busted washer
            we all share—building 3, apartment 23,
where we peel off, across, señora with crooked mouth
            waters a slouchy flower, eyeballs us knives,
said her kids aren’t allowed out
            when we’re around, especially at night,
which is to also say:
            when we’ll tip the cart over for flying anywhere
to keep us from dinnertime,
            those gunshots, echoes we shrug off,
gunshots that once caught my uncle, one lodged
            in his skull, which spazzes when cold
at night, mornings too,
            when our pushed over shopping cart is claimed,
collected, hoisted up like gurney—
            shot down from the moon—and
straight to the morgue.

 


Michael Anthony Reyes is the son of Mexican immigrants. A Chicano poet from Culver City, he’s an alumni of VONA/Voices, The Home School, and forthcoming Fine Arts Work Center workshops. Michael has work published in Acentos Review, Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising From the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles, and others. He writes with the lexicon and language of his Obsessive-compulsive disorder, childhood, and sports upbringing.

 

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