The car gulps the gasoline
by itself. The nozzle and hose
hang from the tank’s mouth
like a cigarette. A loud click
from the handle, and the black hose
twitches. Full. $26.81. My hand
back on the handle, depressing
the trigger in short bursts. $26.89.
$26.98. I’m trying for an even number,
whole, no pennies swimming from
my bank account to the Shell station,
just invisible bills. This is the game
we keep engaging in, Finding
a Good Stopping Point by
Seeing Clues in the Universe.
We imagine a cohesive creature
gazing at us across the ping pong
table, eyebrows raised to see
if we are ready for what it will
bat toward us. The waiter,
that’s us, twisting the top
of the pepper grinder like a
door knob, black dust covering
our guest’s dish like soot.
Tell me when, that’s us,
grinding, waiting. Say when.