Thursday, September 19, 2019


fresh meat

black friday morning
4am alarms
pull myself out
of post-holiday torpor
warm up the car
drive thirty minutes
to eat donuts
make final preparations
for the rush

it’s odd that at 30
i’ve never worked black friday
at least not the morning
door busters and crowds
the desperate american faces
pressed to glass
gawking at cheap trinkets
acquired to impress
the no one or nothing in their life

i’ve worked plenty of holidays
spent hours into thanksgiving mornings
setting displays or resetting
an entire store

i’ve spent evenings
in lifeless stores
the warm embouchure
of post capital bliss
faded florescent zombies
picking clean the remains

this black Friday
they’re camped out
as i get keys in the door
i’m poked with questions
fax machines and thumb drives
i feel the bile rise

mouth electric dry
lights on
people already sentenced
to work follow me
to battle stations

i’ve made the mistake
of mentioning I’ve never
opened a black friday
i’ve never witnessed the carnage

it’s been decided
now i’ll open the door
and i’ll open on my boss’s command
that command

--Jason Baldinger

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