once upon a time

in omaha,
phoenix,
and now
sugar grove
pennsylvania.
every town has one.
a red apple boy,
not so much a boy
cause he
sells beer and
cigarettes but has
only ten blond hairs
on his chin he
nervously plays
with all day.
he has a bit of a
mustache
on a baby face and
eyes that
always meet mine in a
strange way. like he
knows what i’m
thinking, and i’m
thinking he likes
what i’m thinking.
for months
i never knew his name
until today when he
had it printed on a
piece of paper
like he just learned to
write it
pinned to his shirt.
his name is josh.
that’s to much for me
to want to know,
he will always be red
apple boy.
his chest puffed up
when i asked him
about the panama
swim and diving
team t-shirt he was
wearing. i put my hand
in my pocket
when he turned
from me to get my
pall mall menthols
off the rack.
that butt in a speedo.
god’s creation at its
best. when he
turned back
my eyes were
still below his belt.
he caught me
looking at his crotch.
he smiled.
he knows. the
rainbow triangle on
my wallet
gives my queerness
away. he asks
me credit or debit.
the same thing
every morning. i
say debit every
morning.
any cash back?
i don’t
need cash but say a
five and five ones. just
for a chance to touch
his naked hand. he
has dirty finger nails.
just the right amount
of makeup i like on my
red apple boys. he
tells me to have a
good one,
i repeat what he says.
i hop in the car and
drive eleven more
miles in the rain
to work. david bowie is
singing young
americans on the
radio. in an hour
he will be naked
hopping in
his bed.
the shades pulled
tight,
to keep out the
daylight.
he works the
graveyard, i
work the early shift.
two ships passing
in the early hours
of the morn. to him
i am the red apple guy
that smokes to much.
he smiles in his
dreams.

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