Sunday, February 21, 2010

Written on the Backs of Speedway Gas Receipts by Grace Curtis

Written on the Backs of Speedway Gas Receipts
by Grace Curtis

"Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers." (George Carlin)

Tran# 237612

December 20, 2008

Just as I begin

to pump my gas

I look down

and realize

I am wearing

only a slip.

One by one—in a

a show of solidarity—

other pumpers

strip to their underwear.

Only the illegals


Tran# 564441

January 12, 2009

The man

in the last pump bay

begins to sing


so loud and longingly

that we each file by

and drop coins

into his

commuter cup.

Tran# 784115

March 18, 2009

Today, the station

is busy. There are

2 trapeze artists,

1 lion tamer, 4

midget clowns piling

out of an old

Alfa Romeo Spider,

1 disheveled ringmaster

and 4 snow removal

guys. The snow guys

are buying hot dogs

with mustard and onions.

2 small children

in car seats

are eating cotton candy

for breakfast

and watching the show.

Tran# 256114

April 4, 2009

2 dogs in the car,

3 bays down

are holding

a lady hostage

while her husband

pumps gas.

They’re roughing her up good.

They want money. I think

her husband is mouthing

“Help Us.” to me but,

I decide

to stay out of it.

Tran# 421587

June 1, 2009

The man at pump 2

is wearing a living room.

Soft gray walls, a blue

checked couch. A green,

gold and rust colored

throw pillow

down the front. No


He obviously used

an interior designer.

He looks like

he wants to invite me over.

Author bio:

Grace Curtis is currently a full-time student in Ashland University’s MFA program and is employed full-time in an administrative position with a health system in Dayton, Ohio. She works as a volunteer for The Antioch Review. She has had poetry published in The Chaffin Journal, Poetry of the World, and down in the dirt. She had a poem featured in the 2007 Scars publication wall calendar and her poetry was selected as the 2009 winner of the Shape in a Misshapen World Festival of the Arts in Ashland, Ohio. She leasd poetry workshops in SW Ohio. She has an undergraduate degree in English from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana and an MBA from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

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