Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Spookie Pizza Friday

Spookie Pizza Friday
Photograph via Flickr by PROwiredforlego

Was what we called it, like a holiday, or good sex,
something that demands a name, leaving you breathless with sweat
and at least one, good cigarette.

This is Friday, but even before 7am, we are sending texts,
Can’t wait to see you or Till this is over, covert as teens or spies
inside the pink bathroom stalls in your office, at a light

changing green, where I’m replying with red lip emoticons
in my pickup to a chorus of horns, middle fingers sticking
out of windows, but instead of go,

I am thinking of a two topping special
and the coupon I left on the desk at home, the 30 minute wait
at night for the passenger seat to get red hot, for the windows to get fogged up

like a first date, but listen, I’m talking about food here, how the swirl of cheese
slumps down the comforters of a spongy crust, pepperoni
burning the cardboard air with the zest of its salt.

I’m driving home from Fellini’s Pizza toward the beginning of the story.
where the plot is always based on a true events.
The road, freezing, the unforgiving curve, the slick patches, I just miss.

I can see my truck flipped over, my head against the dashboard,
cracked windshield, the wheels in midair, still spinning, but this is the Friday
I have enough tread to recover, spin into harmless grass in time

to make it home, the pizza, still steaming.
I want to believe it’s because we’re so tired and deserve the desert island of our couch,
to be envious of our cats again, knitted together like scarves,

because for two hours, we can forget arthritis, the sister in the hospital
and walk into televised darkness, follow four unsuspecting coeds
as they get together, then split back up again, set up mics and cameras say

Make sure you get this and Is there a spirit here who wishes to speak?
They listen for the whispers of phantoms on playback and just like us,
we are stupidly waiting for the electric mist of special effects, the deep voices

bellowing Get out into a night, darker than the time you were 18 and shaking in your bed
old enough to tell a shadow or an open closet from the shape of your father who never came back
no footstep, no banging pipe mistaken for, I miss you, you’ll get over this.

In the movie, this is the crucial moment of discovery where we are always pausing it
for bathroom breaks and another slice, because the story is so bad, it’s good
and after all, who wants to see anyone survive it?

The dead jock, the cheerleader panicking in the basement and the cameraman who
witnessed something so terrible, that no one could possibly believe him.
In the end, the priest never says the right thing. The stained glass shatters into screams,

the evil is always bigger than he is. “Some monsters, he’ll say, never leave”
But we don’t think about what this could mean. We hit play again,
and lean in together, waiting.