The Bell

All it took
to put me on the couch
for an entire year
was someone saying
“50 on pump 5”,

I felt my hands
go numb,
I went dizzy
& the fear took
me over, I left
my cash register
& walked out
the door,
got in my car
leaving a line
of customers inside,

my mind became its own mind
as I drove past the children
playing outside,
the blooms falling
from the trees,
the sun shining
on bikini girls
lounging in their
front yard,

I got to my house,
went inside,
sat on the couch,
& said nothing
to anyone,
letting the first tears
of my adult life
roll from my eyes,

nothing dramatic
there was no hold up
in the store,
no gang land slayings,
or people getting

there was no high stakes
poker game,
no mafia hits,
no outlaws riding
off into the sunset,

losing one's mind,
during the turning
of a radio station,
while putting on underwear
& noticing that they're

it happens
while petting your rabbit
as your voice
turns into a child's voice,
it goes when you look
into the mirror
& see the black bags
under your eyes,

it happens
as you look out
into the store,
& see the line
of people holding
their sodas,
& gas money,

it happens
after you punch
in the numbers
to your register,
with its loud bell
signaling to you
that a drawer
is about to fly open.