Needing specific late night sustenance, we drove twenty miles for the neon promise of “open.” The same woman as last time: “finally, customers.” Took our order and made good on our extra cheese, jalapeno pizza with energy drinks, legal cigarettes, heartburn. Shared with the kind of friends they just don’t make anymore. A midnight kiss from Josie.
In a rural gas station,
I turned eighteen.
I wish I was still there.
The gin-lipped lovers in swing and sweat
have been replaced
with the horn-rimmed smokers
that dirty the streets
and I don’t want to be young anymore.
Where curbs would hold trophy
the reddened cheeks of kids too shy to kiss,
Now, they wait for an Uber,
desperate for the gridlock,
equating and crashing until
licenses get removed, or drivers
grow out of fashion.
Timothy Tarkelly‘s poetry has been featured by Paragon Journal, GNU, Cauldron Anthology, Cadaverous Magazine, Fourth & Sycamore, Haunted Waters Press, Whisper and the Roar, and others. He was recently named an Honorable Mention for the Golden Fedora Poetry Prize by Noir Nation Magazine. When he is not writing, he works for a non-profit that serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Western Kansas.