Caitlin Westgate, ‘Gas Station Regular’

Today’s audio post comes again from Caitlin Westgate (“craters have intentions”). In addition to the work Caitlin has featured in “The Bridge,” her writing has also been featured on the Women at Warp blog, where she discusses mental illness in the context of “Star Trek.” For us, she reads “Gas Station Regular,” which is on page 85 of volume 14, and can be read below the cut.

Gas Station Regular

Gums bleeding,
sugar plum fairies receding,
the tips of your teeth are
summits—
Mount Everest
words die trying to climb them.
Hair smells stale,
like cigarette smoke hanging
in an empty room.
Used up—
stamped and crushed until the fire went out,
dry tobacco guts spilling
from the filter.
Makeup pooling
in your crow’s feet.
Eyeliner
au naturel,
you had it tattooed on
10 years ago, it’s
insect legs
underneath your pupils
now.
A Mosquito
or a Praying Mantis
dying to get out.

The present is
Parliament’s
and Cashwords
and hoping you’ll get lucky,
when I pass the paper
and cardboard and
filtered death across the counter,
open the cash register
and tell you,
Have a nice day

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