Beer in a Bag

Gagging on scents of rotten eggs

I exited the parking lot of the Texas paper mill.

Hot, and humid, pulled up to the gas station.

Too tired to lift the pump to fill

my broken down Cougar with gas.

Instead, I went inside the store to grab a beer, 

any beer, out of the cooler. 

Only wanted one can 

to make the drive over

the railroad tracks

so much more pleasant.

Bearded man with grimy fingernails

placed my single beer in a paper bag.

I walked out, wiped sweat off my brow.

Not one person in view, popped the tab

took a long, cool drink and hoped the car

wouldn’t slip gears on the way home.

Marsha Johansen lives in Albuquerque, NM and holds a Bachelors in Business Management. Her collection of poems called “Around the Edges” was published in 2018. Both her prose and poems appear in The New York Times Magazine, Tulip Tree Publishing,, SadGirlsClub literary blog and the New Mexico Poetry Society Chapbook.

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