Madeline at the Mall

Deep in the wilds of Oklahoma City,
nested amid the churches and pawn shops and gun shows:
The Mall, capital city of capitalism, infested by youth
Goth eyeliner everywhere, drooping jeans, exposed midriffs,
nascent souls drawn together by boredom and desire.
Madeline works the late shift then closes the theatre to meet
this guy
who’s been adjusting his sleeves for half an hour,
he’s hoping she’ll notice his guns, but not like he’s showing off,
that would be too obvious, he left Sammy
back at Starbucks, Sammy likes it there because coffee smells
and you know, Starbucks is where you find the white girls,
but not Nikki who cannot handle Sammy, tough girl smirk on
she knows she’s gay but hasn’t told anyone, safety in
better a tomboy than a dyke when the world wears cowboy
Mom says she’s going to hell but could that place really be
any worse? Whatever.
Meanwhile, down the escalator,
Karen steals her mom’s Dillard’s card to buy these
Tony busts a move playing Dance Party outside the Apple
Emily breaks up with Fred by sending a sad emoji face
Tiffany prays eight times a day and buys Precious Moments
Aaron is hooked on meth but tells his friends he has gum
don’t be judgy, I’ve seen their medicine cabinet, our parents
do more drugs than we do
It’s all legit, we’re all messed up
big small town in a big small state
could we just chill in the parking lot and pretend we’re not
scared about
what happens next?