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Spring 2015

Agora Spring 2015 Zordani

Self Portrait At the Last Liquor Store Before the Arkansas Line


Here I am, a gaggle of weeds circling
the cinderblock shop that is my true self,
a slapdash building rolled in flesh tone pink,
its aisles stuffed with weekly specials so cheap
even locals on this side of the line
come here to prime their cabinets with booze.
Under the static drone of neon signs
leans the toothless cashier, his one true love
a slim half pint of Fighting Cock Bourbon
lifted so daintily to his parched lips
a well dressed woman tilts her offhand glance
toward the cooler against the back wall
and sashays past the broken ice machine
as if his shamelessness were nothing more
than a simple mistake, a boob who’d left
the bathroom door ajar and had no time
to click it shut. She peruses the wines,
pulls down a bottle of white zinfandel,
reads the label, and slides it in her purse
before the dim cashier has had the chance
to recuperate from the burning kiss
that only whiskey gives. He smiles at her,
and, when she winks, he whispers to himself,
pressing the tiny flagon to his heart.

 forthcoming in Measure