Through a Glass, Darkly

Most nights my father keeps the gas station
open late, downstairs in the service bay
the clank of wrenches on concrete, the grind
of casters sends him rolling under cars.
Behind glass, on the second story, I can hear
the engines idle and come back to life,
see the horse on high with wings that light up
Mobilgas in neon's ad nauseam.
Its color thrown against walls reminds me
of blood, of my mother driven from here.
Her volatility matched only by his.
In spite of the rain drifting sideways, I spy him
in uniform standing beside the pumps,
downing beer. He is gauging how long
the storm should last. And when it stops, his opera
will come right through the floor, the wind outside
grow so still even his smoke rings hold their shape.

:: Marcus Cafagna, in Crab Orchard Review

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