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Rest Stops This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

To the left of the
puddles of crabgrass
and evergreen saplings
sits a peeling table
once used for picnics.

Ethyl Acetate –
(in a quaint shade
that requires 2-3 coats
and a safe residence
in a cabinet
far from heat and flame)
– lies in flakes on the bench.
Here a girl brushed
nail-polish shavings
from her germ-xed fingertips
and air-tight knuckles.

A coated figure
sits beneath the comforting shadow
of evergreen limbs,
with congested trash bags
sleeping beside him.

Black and sleek,
these bags are containers
for all bottles and wrappers
tossed onto rabid weeds.
The coated figure drifts while
the misplaced travelers
vanish
and abandon their waste.
Stickers are left behind:
On public and putrid bathroom stalls.

Stickers infest the patterns of the walls
and the odors of the walls
and the Sharpie insults on the walls
and on picnic-table paradises.

Advertising hand prints are everywhere.
Stickers drip with preschool
finger-paint dreams
that have grown into adult corporate finger-paint routine.
Commercials ignore my discomfort
as I watch them stare.

Stickers. So comedic, with their adhesive putty
glazed onto the pale underside.
Stickers. So lovely, with hitchhiking evergreen thistles
wedged within their
divine white palms.
Grand and perfect
stickers call out for visitors.
They cry for examiners.

The aging bench
twitches in the wind.
The wood breathes away the termites.
Meanwhile, inside,
across from the vending machines
and due west of the tourist maps,
the girl creaks on a faucet.
She waters her
crabgrass-stained shorts.
Feet stomp on a balancing beetle
crawling on freshly plastered bathroom tile.
The insect dies.
Humanely of course.

The girl searches for her car keys.
Beetles sneer at her forgetfulness,
as if they knew.
The coated figure
fills his black bag
with clumps of crabgrass.
He sees one blade
iced with polish.
Have the trees lost their evergreen?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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