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Nothing to Complain About but T.J. Maxx

i would never enter a t.j. maxx
but the man outside trying to
kill me gave me a good reason to
rush to the cash register and ask
for help, i got shooed away
so instead i pretended to be
interested in some linens, some sheets,
some pillows, then an old friend came
and was going to help me escape
when the coast was clear,

we were interested in this woman with
jet-black hair, a slight accent and
a pink crew neck on,
“these blouses sure ain’t it,” i told my buddy
and made sure she could hear it, and she
laughed, they are when you
take them off,” we bantered until her
sisters—who looked more like her
maids—seemed alarmed, a big man
with a short stature stood
outside and i remembered:
this is who i am hiding
from, her husband, her hector who she had
left asleep by the fire hydrant outside now
with his gun at the ready to shoot me and, god
forbid, his pink-sweater sweetheart if she
happened to be in the line of fire, i remember
so vividly shielding myself with the big plastic
containers of duvet covers, then

click-click

a rifle appeared in my hands and bullets began
to fly, t.j. maxx was the place, hector escobar
was the man, lara escobar was the woman,
it was all a dream, now the story is in
word up! magazine, of a shooting between a
poet a drug king, a black-tie
bad guy, my aim’s bad
in the dreamscape but
can’t complain
’cause i also never
die.


Published on 2020-07-24.

Tagged: poems