Greatest Hits Nightmare
The End of Moreland Ave - 1

Time Machine


There’s time to think about the life that comes
after the tanning bed. Instead of cancer
and blue light, the August heat will gust
in from the parking lot, tremulous, through
the waiting room, the long slow afternoon.
I won’t be naked in a box full of lightbulbs,
the heavy lid just inches from my nose,
or dozing in a strip mall, a thin-walled stall
that holds the machine and the timer.
The digits wink down to the future when
I'm out. I will race to get dressed.
The present still pressed between hot glass,
The door chime clatters in my wake.
In minutes, I’ll fly past shoppers
at the grocery store. They are standing still
as I weave a cart around their clusters, their lists.
Meanwhile I am unbelievably raising my arms
overhead to pinken in the warm embrace,
practicing for the mammograms, the MRIs
I’ll have someday. Scan here and here.
Miss young and proper and just breaking a sweat
in this room with a number on the door.


d. mathias

the best choice.

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