Sitting in Applebee’s Parking Lot Somewhere between Art and Dying

by Susan Meyers

My cousin’s heart attack was weeks ago
and still I think of dying, which he didn’t do,
thank his lucky stars, or God. An old man
shuffles with his little cart for balance
and mutters something I can’t hear, a curse?
I’ll shuffle too someday, or maybe die first.

I vacillate between these fates, a child
at play reciting eenie-meenie while
some bully makes the choice. A guywire casts
its pencil shadow on the strip of grass.
Call it horizontal art, that shadow.
Inside, the old man staring out the window

waves as if to turn the traffic light
from red to green, Monday’s highlight
in a gallery of come and go, and hurry—
exhibits neither he nor I will jury,
mere patrons of this high museum of cars.
Both alive, thanks to God, or lucky stars.