Freeway Lanes
Emily Brungo

Wednesday Night Scotch Doubles:
One-two-three for one-fifty
at ten a couple.
The smell of cigarettes and feet
trapped in my hair
and the Hawaiian shirt I’m wearing.
Jimmy tries it on.

I choke back this smoke,
sympathy pains in my throat—
but how can you play tonsil hockey
with a boy who has no tonsils?

Swisher Sweet smell
and Joe Camel breath
looms in a circle
hung like a drop ceiling.

There’s a convention of stoned boys,
red white and blue eyed
under fluorescent lights.
This water tastes bad
but I find myself thirsty,
I slide in my socks
and bruise my knees.
I wish my thumbnails were shorter
to fit in these holes,
but the pink balls are lighter
and I have six frames to go.

With a score of sixty-nine
on the TV screen,
John drops the ball,
dead weight in the gutter-
crack in the floor,
blue paint and splinters,
he runs like hell
before the owners find out.

 

Return to Archive