“Vacant Places” by Eric Roy

Labelscar, labelscar, can’t make out who you are
—Lord & Taylor, JC Penny, Sakowitz or Sears?
Corndog Craftory still exists! But Orange Julius
turned into a Magic Wok before it disappeared.

Chess King long deposed. Journeys come to its end.
Now that the Gold Mine’s gone, can I spend these
arcade tokens at the food court carousel? A man
stands over there, alone—attendant or nostalgic

predator? If only Dream Merchant had survived.
We could buy cloves again, the Necronomicon,
Morbid Angel shirts for our grateful mothers
to bury in the trash once we move back in.

Eric Roy is the author of a chapbook, All Small Planes (Lily Poetry 2021), whose hybrid writing concerns the ongoing opioid crisis. His recent poetry and fiction appear or are forthcoming in many print and online journals, including Bennington Review, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, Poetry South, Salamander, Salt Hill Journal, and Sugar House Review

Image: “Wearing my Morbid Angel shirt to the gym today” by Ernest Hilbert

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