Paradise

The blue of that day on
the highway east, towards
Chelan, meeting someone’s
cousins, eating bad grocery
store cherry pie on the hot
blacktop. The convenience
store parking lot, half my
conception of heat. I thought
the struggling grocery, Martha
Lake Foods, would have to
close, and cried at bedtime
that night, my sympathy with
business like a good young
capitalist. Product nostalgia.
And, what else, disaster
tourism. Capital isn’t just
money, it’s money making
more of itself. It’s the way
the commercial arterial gets
choked with revolutionary
thought that interests me,
though distantly. What’s
uglier than white men
demanding forgiveness of
whomever they’ve oppressed.
Is paradise a racist site.

Andy Stallings lives in Deerfield, MA, where he teaches English at Deerfield Academy. His second collection with Rescue Press, Paradise, will come out in 2018. He has four young children, and coaches cross country running.

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