South End Tacos

Here the line never ends
There’s always a laid-back dude
in a pair of flip-flops
reading the menu
like the Tao Te Ching

There’s always a hot girl in daisy dukes
who could never make up her mind,
while her muscle-bound boyfriend
buys a box-full of shrimp tacos,
heavy on the pico de gallo

There’s always a faint smell
of hashish in the air
coming from a parked car
with glassy-eyed teenagers
seeing the world in Rubik’s cubes

Next door at the batting cage,
a little kid always swings and misses,
or pops a foul into the net,
like his only chronic regret
at a pitching-speed of 30 mph

A train always passes, tooting its horn,
past the South End Taco truck
with the smell of fresh carnitas,
and a Mexican guy cleaning the tables,
with a rag he’s used since last December

There’s always a hippie bus
in a psychedelic rainbow of colors
parked illegally by the loading zone,
full of tie-dye girls with munchies,
singing Grateful Dead songs.

Mark Tulin is a former therapist who lives in Ventura, California. He has a Pushcart Prize nomination for a short story at Active Muse and has authored Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, and The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories, and a forthcoming collection of poetry—Junkyard Souls (Alien Buddha Press). He can be found at and Twitter: @Crow_writer.

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