Flu Shot

I try not to look at the woman
walking towards me but her skirt
is no bigger than a bandage and
her heels are so high she might need
an oxygen tank rather than the suitcase
on wheels she pulls behind her.
I just hope the two assholes she
is walking next to aren’t with her.
The guy on her right is in a suit
and wears a toupee that looks
like a black squirrel fell off a tree,

landed on his head and didn’t
survive the fall. He’s talking to the guy
next to him with hair plugs resembling the hair
on the head of Chatty Cathy the doll
my sister dragged everywhere when she
was a kid. Maybe I’m just pissed off
my arm is aching. I only left
the doctor’s office ten minutes ago
after getting a flu shot. I hate needles
and this one looked like the Empire
State Building; when he injected it
I could feel at least seventy floors
enter my arm. No wonder it feels so heavy.
Then for some reason discovering
there was a couple of hundred bucks
in my bank account when I thought
it empty; seeing a Hopper canvas
for the first time or hearing
the Clifford Brown with Strings
CD is how I felt seeing the girl
with the bandage end up standing next to me.
Even her taking out a cigarette as we
waited for the light to change couldn’t
diminish the moment. Of course
I didn’t notice how the smoke slid
out of her mouth or the way it
sounded rubbing up against a breeze,
perhaps the way that skirt of hers
might, slowly sliding down her legs.

Editor’s Note: In the printed edition, the line “next to him with hair plugs resembling the hair” appeared indented, which was our error. Here it is correct.