Main Street America

Born at two o’clock, on Route 66, it was spilling.
First crime delivered; no one to celebrate my heir.

Stuck in a two bit tourist town;
I promised a life away from here.

Where opportunities afforded to affluent would be his;
Never occurred to me the criteria for that was being aristocrat.

Dusty streets, littered with middle aged men; playing dress up,
In motorcycle leather, exploring,
Another, suburban crisis.

The moment I saw him; I committed to a new way,
Two hundred in my pocket; I bought a ticket to Los Angeles,
City of Angels.

My newborn whimpered, in the heat;
An idiot in a Roswell shirt asked me if I ever saw an alien;
‘I’m looking at a clone of one.’

My boobs like balloons, filled with cement;
Abandoned my bra in the bathroom stall.
I filled the air, with sour milk and sweat;
Put water on my newborns head.

Bought a copy of ‘Arizona Daily Star’ cost a dollar eighty nine;
Covered, my infant son, from dazzling sunrain.
Front page news; two teens sentenced for killing a family;
Disintegrated, in the rain.

Stepping on the train; I wished I erased my name and number,
From the bathroom wall in that Irish Bar; his father put it there.

No air conditioning on the train;
Orthodox Jews across from me.

I exposed my breast; to feed my child;
They looked at me in disgust.

My tongue snuck through my lips, wiggled, while I hissed with the vengeance of a startled rattle snake.

They whispered ‘drug addict,’
The little girl behind them shouted, ‘I want to see the dragon too.’

Rolled in to Union Station, two am;
The security guard moved us on.
I walked until I saw a man with a martini glass;
I asked him if he knew of a motel.

I have a hotel, forty dollars a night we have Playboy and HBO;
He put the martini in the ashtray, drove oblivious to stop signs, traffic lights, pedestrians but the drink never spilled a drop.
Finally, we arrived;
He had a mail order bride.

Walked to the room; eyes balls jumped at us through the windows;
Sheets were rented,
There was no bible,
I held my baby.

Wondering, could I rewind time?
Call a do over.
Be one of those soccer moms; with a make-over.

The sun rose;
I begged the bride to give me a job, cleaning the brothel.
Reluctantly, martini drinker agreed.

Every night I watched; the suburban mom’s sacrifice, one by one,
No man heard, ‘not tonight, honey.’

I feared the urban symphony;
Of fallen needles, sirens, prostitute whistles, gun shots.

I held my boy near and told tales of a brand-new life, until,
One day we left for the unknown, again,
This time away from Main Street America.

– L.J. Lenehan –


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