Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Firebaugh, California

At the exit station
there’s a graying workman
at peace near the gaspumps
lighting a filterless cigarette

, his shovel cut and earth-leaned 
, his hand cupped against the wind.
I imagine him one of the few hai
karate customers of the coin-op men’s room.

He and his two 
helpers prevent our attention from requesting
bottled water. Instead
we find cold Coors

to embody our stolen valor
, this year, nineteen eighty-nine.