Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stateside, 1980s

Stateside, 1980s
First time across the border
Into the land of TV cops and GI Joe
I want to kiss her in the backseat
But her father drives, brother sits between us
“Hello sir. You all Canadian? Have a nice trip.”
Passportless, he waves us through

Real rifle on the wall at the corner store
Real Butterfinger, Mounds, Almond Joy
As I count she yells
“Don’t give me no damn Canadian change!”
Startled, I drop beavers, moose, maple leaves
And break the Washington dollar I had planned to save

Lunch in Elmo’s Game Barn, moose steaks and lobster
Cordon Bleu chef in Riviera summers
Hunter in Maine falls
“I thought It’d be different” I say to her father
“You expect leaves would turn into Washington dollar bills?”

Stateside, 1990s
First time adult across the border
Into the land of LA riots and Iraqi Freedom
I want to change the station
But I am licenseless, so he drives and decides
“Hello sirs, you Canadian? Why are you passing through?”
Our passports disappear into the booth, then return

Real pistols at their hips
Real dogs and SMGs on cords
As we sit he asks
“You ever consume any illicit substances?”
We exude a moment of Canadian arctic silence
Like after asking fish how they like water

Lunch in IHOP, Stuffed French Toast
Stuffed until we burst
Bottomless coffee, Coke in larger cans
“This place is so different
Do we leave a tip, is a Washington dollar enough?”

Stateside, 2000s
First time crossing the states
Across the lands of hoodoos and desert Greek cafes
She kisses my cheek as I drive
Two months ago I arrived
“Aloha, welcome. Open your bag, please.
Driving across? Have a good time, bro.”

Real mooks and tittas and howleys
Real OC students and celebrity agent pool parties
Real iron poisoning in Utah
Radio warns us of violent Salt Lake gangs
Who attack anyone they see
Smoking, spitting, or kissing in the street

Lunch in a Detroit trucker buffet
Our 69 Beetle dwarfed by 18 wheelers from New Jersey
Our bodies dwarfed by 7 foot truckers from Alabama
“I feel like I’m back in Canada already.” As I pay he says
“That old Washington dollar? You should have saved it.”

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