Black Friday


September 14, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Terry Lucas


At six a.m. I turn into the mall parking lot, steer around
speed bumps, nose the Accord into its reserved spot. Already

sticks of manicured coppice are blushing muted
rose and sage. Already light is pooling on car hoods, graying

the roof over The Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, opening up
to cathedral space, where “the closer I get to you

the more you make me see,” is looping endlessly between
food courts and anchor stores. Outside,

customers press against smudged glass doors, pale
envelopes of coupons and double-bonus dollars in their fists. I crack

the car door and twist both feet to work my Allen-Edmond wingtips
from floorboard to pavement without scuffing mirrored toes.

See my body follow with measured obedience, slip through
hordes, lift the grated metal gate to my tailored clothing store, enter

code to deactivate the alarm—then disappear
behind a wall of worsted wool, a flicker of the artificial

lights before they catch. See me emerge, translucent
plastic tubes of coins and rubber-banded bills in hand,

count the drawers, reach inside my triple-pleated trouser
pocket, pull out keys, walk to the door, extend my hand,

welcome you into the maw of America.


Terry Lucas has recent or forthcoming work in Best New Poets 2012, Great River Review, MiPOesias, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, New Mexico Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders and 200NewMexicoPoems. His inaugural collection, The Gate, is due out in 2013. Among other honors, his poems have garnered four Pushcart Prize nominations. Terry grew up in New Mexico and resides in northern California. He is Associate Editor for Trio House Press.

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