Getting Gas in Barstow, CaliforniaA Poem by Justin W Price
A poem about a worse for wear gas station attendant. I feel like it's close, but it's also missing something, and I can't quite put my finger on it.
Getting Gas in Barstow, California
There’s a full service gas station
just east of Barstow, California. I’m taking
my brand new Dodge Charger for a trip
to Las Vegas. It still bears temporary tags.
It’s blood, blood red
with a white racing stripe running all along it.
I pull in and see the gas station attendant.
He’s a baked loaf of bread, cooked
well past the point of pleasant crunchiness.
He’s wearing blue coveralls and a salty beard.
He approaches my car.
His cratered lips speak
in a sandpaper voice. Fill ‘er up?
Twenty. I pull out a crisp
bill. His curled black fingers take it,
crumble it, into his shirt pocket. He smiles
Nice car, he says.
His oily brown skin dirties my hood
when he leans against it. He squints
and puts a cracked,
oil stained boot
on the curb and inserts the nozzle
into my gas tank.
His musty hair stumbles
in the dry Mojave wind. There’s a thin
tan line on his left ring finger. His eyes
are dried out red caverns. He spits brown
and sticky chew, sucking some of it
Where ya headed?
He nods sadly and, as I drive away, `
© 2012 Justin W Price
Justin W Price
AboutI'm a writer of poetry, short stories, essays and articles. Managing editor for efiction horror magazine, husband, student, lover of life and dogs, chef more..