Parking Lot Towns



Parking lot towns
Big beige buildings with red brick awnings, stacked up neatly, geometrically arranged, model towns with model cars
White painted rectangles for empty automobiles, big, slightly dusty black trucks with thick tires, shiny red suburbans, license plates still missing, dull, silver audis with dents in the fenders, common cars of common people
There’s a haze in the air, of engine exhaust and floor-polish, tinting the once-blue sky a dusky grey
The mountains sit, ominous, in the distance
Navy blue
Silent, hovering
judgmental
I hold my breath
I feel myself blur in the edges of photographs,
Hands becoming undefined blobs of shape,
My eyes
Gone
I hold my breath
Watching
I can’t tell what is up and down and where the parking lot ends
Or even
If it ever does
My dirty green sneakers are half an inch off the ground
My head
Pulses
Throbbing
An ache behind where my eyes once were
Women with long eyelashes and lips painted burgundy
Curves showing, belly buttons and hips and breasts
Under tight lacy crop tops and long flowy skirts, like bright colored oceans that cling to the skin around pelvises
Sandaled feet with the toes painted a bright, neon pink
Ten dollar purses hang from shoulders like weights, heavy, glitzy metal emblems, insignias, logos, signatures on the clasp, knockoff brands and immitations, sewn hastily, cheap metal painted gold
I catch myself fingering fabric and price tags with .99 at the end of the number and wondering if I have enough
Long acrylic nails grab at single dollar bills and red plastic cards to pay for cheap floral patterns on polyester
They push babies in strollers and bounce them on their hips
Tiny faces with tiny eyes watching makeup smears, mega malls, and car tires
The asphalt desert is thirsty
The men wear shorts to their knees and dangle cigarettes from in between thick, callused fingers and the sides of their mouths
Smoke curls in the night air
Cursive, tattooed letters written on biceps and shoulders, names of sisters and grandmothers and daughters and lovers
Stubble on their chin, hair cropped close, their eyes are dark, intense
You don’t want to get too close
Fast singing to thin, sandy beats with undertones whispering of beer bottles and late nights and tall women blares out speakers and through rolled down windows
He yells at the phone while the woman wearing his ring holds the baby
“Sh sh sh” she whispers, frantic
And he screams
“WHERE IS MY SISTER?”
I don’t know
His sister
Past nine o’clock everyone’s voice is slurred
Metallic liquid dranken out of straws
and stale parmesan cheese on wilted lettuce leaves, burgers and pasta that looked better in the glossy menu photographs than they do on the plate
The laughs get louder and the glasses get emptier
The stars are blocked by the haze
Neon lights and loud noises and they all scream about possibilities of winning
Winning what?
I clutch my heart in one hand and red paper carnival tickets in the other
Winning
Winning
Jackpot
Enjoy your game
I spill my quarters on the floor
My drink is just water
The children scamper around like field mice high on ice cream
Little girls with their hair in pigtails
Little boys wearing light-up spiderman sneakers
The movie theater is the size of my entire town
I brush my hand over the surface and watch it crumble away
I whisper
“Where is the culture?”
They reply
“This is the culture”
I pluck four blades of grass
From the side of the street
They’re all the same length
Exactly three centimeters
They are sharp and the tips of my fingers bleed
The palm trees look plastic and I wonder when mother nature decided to leave this place
And I wonder
If she’ll ever come back
I imagine her roots breaking the hard, black ground, growing over two dimensional hotel rooms
Reclaiming what was once hers but since has been lost
To posters of glistening smiles
And cheap plastic flip flops
It’s only an imagination
The wind is hot and dry, blowing over the surface of the pool
Creating ripples on the glassy, chlorinated blue
It’s deepest end is five feet and I can stand easily and never even get my hair wet
The people’s hearts
Can’t be this shallow
As well
Can they?
Plastic hangers and broken cashiers, shiny floor tiles and high heels spilling off the shelves
I’m sure
There’s flesh and blood
Under all that foundation and faded green ink
I look out
At the endless
Parking lot
Trying to still my dizzy forehead
I hold my breath

But this really isn’t all that fair

13 comments :

  1. mind = blown. that was freakin' amazing. the way you captured that cheap city feeling, the desperation for nature, like... i seriously feel like i did when i was driving through Detroit last month, or in LA a few years ago. powerful stuff to conjure up those feelings.

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    1. Wow, thank you so much. That really means so much to me, you're making my heart grow wings and fly right now <3 <3 Thank you thank you

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  2. Wow. This created such a vivid image in my head.

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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  3. "The asphalt is thirsty." The entire poem is vivid, but this line stood out most to me. <3

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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    1. Aw wow thank you. I like that line too :)

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  4. I love this poem, It is so blatantly true. The title reminded of the John Green book Paper Towns for some reason....
    x Skye // A little inkling // alittleinklings.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh yeah, now that you mention it it does remind me of that haha. I'm so glad you love it and resonated with it <3

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  5. Woah woah woah. I love this, and I especially love the format- so beautiful and intentional!
    <3 <3 <3
    elissa
    letters-to-jayna.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. ahh stopppp you're way to sweet haha. thank you <3 <3

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