No, it’s not in Chernobyl,
or on the down ramp to Dante’s last circle of hell.
It’s on a road called Fruitville
between antique and consignment stores.
“All Your Vaping Needs” says the sign.
No parking, no foot traffic.
All day and night, for over a month now
not one buyer to be seen inside.
From the outside the plate glass
the shop’s mirrored walls are infinity –
each image of the owner, alone at the counter,
recreates itself over and over,
smaller and smaller,
until he is a grain of sand
on this beach where I stand,
the sun through the thin membrane of my eyelids
making silver electric light that mimics his shop.
The planning, the savings, the terms of the lease.
The worst retail location in the world,
and now I am a partner in his space
where, every day, he invites me to inhale his dream,
and I had no say in the whole idea.
Bubba Henson is a poet and teacher living in Sarasota, FL. His poetry has appeared in The Laughing Unicorn, The Palette, and the Pendulum magazines. He is seeking first-hand experience with the people, places, and events that shape the telling and retelling of this great story.