AIRWAY HEIGHTS LUNCH CROWD AUGUST 2, 2019

Gideon’s bible at the airport Hilton
Promised me the purpose of this flush
Of road construction and the three fast food boxes
On pads in front of Wally World north of Highway 2
Was to drive my soul to eternal life.
I placed my metal box on wheels between ordered stripes
In the asphalt lot concretely curbed
Between grassy swales hungering for rain
And choose Taco Bell over Jack in the Box and Carl’s Jr./Green Burrito.
Those burger places can try but their wannabe tacos
Will never ring as pure as the Bell.
Full for lunch but with a short line
I avoid the cold computer tablet screen order station
For the warm smile and the long dark hair of Suree in her clean uniform
Longing to take my order.
The Book of Revelation steers me toward a Steak Reaper Ranch Fries Burrito
So new it is not prophesized on the Bell’s online menu to spice the comfort of
My beloved Doritos Loco Taco Supreme.
I grab a table and cast out the nets
Of my Diablo sauce fired contentment on the pond of humanity
Feeding under the noonday sun.
Two airpeople from Fairchild in their non-matching digital cammies
Name badges claiming her Torres and him Thomas
Grab their tacos and table to talk whatever Torres and Thomas share at lunch.
Lucy, the long grey haired gambler lady from the casino,
Argues her luck with her husband’s portable oxygen tank
And her son who just came in after smoking his Marlboro outside.
She rises like Christ to argue with Suree and her crew
Their failure to give her the extra taco free.
Losing half her social security check
At Northern Quest Casino was hard enough
Tearing open packets of mild sauce
Her mind lingers back to that jackpot
On the Cleopatra Palace digital slots
Three days before last Christmas.
The boys from the big box stores and Cal’s Auto Credit car lot
Mingle in the short sleeved uniform shirts of their tribes
And name tag to strut their visions of Seahawks, Redskins and Chiefs
Exhibited on sports bar screens as the days shorten and cool.
The bacteria in our guts fissioning we chew over
Our plans and loves – predictions and losses
Passing through the spice and grain and meat funnel of the Bell
To move to the next stage on our highway to salvation.
I didn’t read any of this in Revelation or Second Corinthians
Nor do I think Paul or John
Ever figured there would be such a place as this.
I wonder if they came back today
To read the visions of the Bell’s menu,
If they would think it heaven
Or would they call it hell
Once they tasted the Reaper Ranch Fries
But either way it would not be a bad place
For our immortal souls to pass –
As long as we can taste spice after death –
All eternity.


Tyson West, born in Boston, MA a few months before the police action in Korea, has degrees from the Universities of Virginia and California and New York University.    Publishing speculative and literary fiction and poetry distilled from his mystical relationship with noxious weeds and magpies in Eastern Washington, he has no plans to quit his day job in real estate. His poetry collection “Home-Canned Forbidden Fruit” is available from Gribble Press. A lover of basic food he is excited to participate in this great literary enterprise.

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