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The end, or beginning of the strip mall starts at the Subway Subs a set aside frontage overlooked by bushes and idling traffic. Further along, the ephemeral Pop-up Party Shop; when not ‘up’ that commercial space sells T-shirts a print for printing slogans. Abutting is the computer game center, pale youths enter not to be seen again until cell phones broadcast amber alerts. Lastly, the hardware store, a well-thumbed cluttered cave, struggling to re-invent its old brands. Abruptly it all ends at curbs and untrod paving. The mall hangs on to the small change of a larger, more changing world. On an adjacent blacktop drivers stay in lane until the junction and the traffic lights lead them somewhere else less out of time. Dusk comes to smear the parking lot with its cowls and drapes, the wingspans of an evening haze sweep-in nocturnal tones, chimerical forms reshape storefronts, leave obscure echoing sinkholes. The strip mall nightly sinks into its less concrete reality, a haunt woven from the discarded wrappers and scraps; that spill over its one solitary trash bin. It will be days before it is emptied or filled again - maybe weeks.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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