Kylie Minogue is working the drive-thru

at some fast food joint in Middle England.

It rises out of a green pasture, solitary,

a beckoning trans-fat Stonehenge.


Having mastered driving on the left,

I roll up to the window,

which opens like a vacuum sealed bag,

and the tiny pop princess smiles,

pink lips pull back over perfect teeth,

her hair pinned under a paper cap,

name emblazoned on a shit-brown uniform,

hand-jiving to The Loco-motion,

asks if I want fish and chips.


The music changes to a familiar melody

that turns high-pitched, tinnitus or tuning fork,

resonating at time-altering frequency.

Just when I think my head might explode,

the world goes white and quiet.

Kylie reaches through the window,

shows me her palm, and tattooed there is 1988.

Because it’s only make believe, she sings,

then hands me a greasy bag.


When I open it, I can see myself inside with Clint,

sitting in our high school classroom 20 years ago,

desire as strong as the fetid oil and fat

that heat-shimmers from the sack,

and when I close it, written on the outside

in the creases and stains are the words

live or die.


Photo by Alpha