Sunday, June 26, 2016

Waiting on Damen


The 50 bus, heading south
in front of the Pink Line station.
It's Saturday. June.
86 degrees at 9:37 pm.

The station attendant
is texting frantically.
Her phone is hidden from view.
Inside her purse.
Outside of prying cameras.

The place across the street
that sells pollo asado
has turned off its lights.
A sign in a window
still blinks, "OPEN"
Other signs in the windows
read, "FOR RENT"

There are a few people
sucking in smoke
in front of the bar
that nestles the south side
of the "El" tracks,
the bar I once called home.

An ice cream truck
pulls up alongside of me
and parks against the curb.
There are no children
on this busy street.

The driver scampers out
the sliding passenger side door
and runs across the street.
He reemerges moments later
with a six pack
before driving off.

My wife exits the Pink Line station
and I ask her if she wants ice cream.
We trail after the ice cream truck
and turn left on Cermak for Walgreen.s
She'll have the chocolate mint.
I'll have the butter pecan.


— Mark Butkus