Shopping for Independence Day

by George Brooks

You need certain things for the marinade:
Ginger root, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, Coca-Cola.

Giant plastic letters mounted to the concrete above the entrance.
The letters are sky blue, and a pair of crows sit atop the “a”.
Iridescent, mouths open, they pant in the shimmering heat.
One hops onto the r, the m, a, c, y, and flies off.

Deep inside, way in back, there’s a shallow marine tank.
Surrounded by schools of static, headless fillets.

Bubbles. The lobsters wait like strangers, cocks and hens
Each for its day, to whistle and snap like firecrackers.
Fastened to the armored wrist of one: a barnacle.
Still pulsing, it reaches and strains, licking the desert suspension for particles.

An analogue watch, set to a more tidal rhythm. A lunar calendar
beating within our Gregorian grid of bank holidays.

But there we go, anthropomorphizing. I pluck the last ingredient–
An 8 ounce bulletshell, red, and white stripes–from the display;
It releases so easily from the plastic cuffs, like a lowest-hanging fruit.

Originally from Utah’s Wasatch Front, George Brooks moved to Reno last year to study in UNR’s Literature and Environment program. His work has appeared in Main Street Rag and Hawk & Whippoorwill.

Back to Issue Nine: Fall 2010