Every third car in the car lot shines silver-with-roof-rack.
You press your goose caller, but nothing honks back.
It could be broken, or the car could be on 6. Wait here,
you tell him, his tick-thud echoing after
your every wrong turn. You ran two stops
to make his appointment, then you abandoned ship
willy-nilly, the waves licking, the waves
of concrete rising as the elevator misbehaved.
Every pew is filled on 6, all is silence.
No attendant, with godlike countenance,
just a family plodding with such purpose toward you,
asmirk at your obvious idiocy. You
go back for the boy, but it's the wrong bank.
Did he wander out or go game-deaf? Thank
god, on 9 the key fits, 9 is the 6, comics face down
in the back seat. You cruise 3 for him, done
with panic, your head thrust so far out of the car you almost hit
honks, and you graze a post. You sit
in park, you pen the stall number on your palm, you call and call:
Only columns answer. He's at the exit where you look last, al-
most crying, most un-dad-like, slipping, with blinks,
the ticket into the quick mouth for its automatic thanks.
TODAY IN SLATE
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Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
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This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
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A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.