Eighteen Dollars


The country music scratches
over the metal intercom speaker,
an irritating itch
the sterile-white fluorescent tubes
make love to the stained ceiling tiles
while the Formica outpatient desk
speaks volumes of redundant lore
laminated paper information
tacky tape tinged
browned at the edges
like dirty old bandages
they could use a graphic artist
unthreatening clip art
poor font choices
not enough information
to keep this charred mind burning
I paid for two hours parking
I’m told I might be waiting four
I don’t have another
nine dollars to spend
disability pensions are cruel
the greatest expenses are paid
by those who suffer the most
and have the least

© Christopher Raine