Convenience Store Aquinas

7-Eleven’ s a misnomer, like “mind-
body” problem. They never close. The hyphen’ s

a dash of form. Sure, this mind-body’ s
a machine, if you want, plowing across town

to the steak house. American Spirit. Give us
the yellow pack. No matches? This dollar

fifty-nine Santa lighter, too. Big Grab bag
of Doritos. No, the “engine” is not

separate — it’ s part of the machine. Sure, paper’ s
good, container for recycling. Rain’ s no problem.

I eat the Doritos, smoke up — one for you?
The chips are part of my machine —

matter inside matter — smoke fires my lungs,
gives me that slap of pleasure in my

tailbone, maybe stimulates a thought.
I’ m prime matter informed by the soul.

No, I didn’ t just slip the word in there:
that’ s a spade — it digs through bullshit.

Lean close, under the awning, cover up,
you want a light. The mist can’ t decide

if it’ s rain or fog. Streetlight moons, clouds
around the neon signs. Pink as the steak

we’ re heading for. The comfort of a red leather
banquette. No, your engine exists as part of

and powers its machine; separated, both are just
scrap, bunch of gears, rusty sprockets.

An unlit oven. Unbaked potatoes. Sour cream
inside a cow, chives growing mostly underground.

“Engine” is a bad analogy. I’ m one thing,
not two, no intermediaries. I don’ t

have a body, I am one. A hollow
one at the moment. What’ ll it be?

Filet mignon? Slab of prime rib, don’ t trim
the fat? Twelve oz. T-bone, two inches thick?

No, I’ ll wait until after I eat for another,
but you go right ahead. Here’ s a light.