Joseph Rios – Even at the Landscape Supply

Joseph Rios

Even at the Landscape Supply

I’m mourning my dead, again,
sitting in line with a 75 Chevy
that always smells like my father.
I pull up onto the platform scale
where I am to be measured
by a man with a flopping neon vest
and no front teeth. I ask him
what’s best for a driveway.
He goes on for a while, I think,
about drainage and tire compaction.
We settle on 3 tons of three quarter
crushed and he drops half in the bed
and half in the trailer. I want to
say something about the cloud
that formed under his scoop,
how the truck bounced as it collected
itself to shoulder the burden. I want
to talk about how it feels to step into it
and feel all that weight around you,
a four ton freight train barreling
forty two miles an hour down
Chestnut avenue, your worry
about leaf springs, payload,
and tongue weight are of no one’s
concern. It’s just you and the truck
that smells like your dead dad
and six thousand pounds of rock
you’re dropping in the backyard
of your Nana’s house to cover
the soil you just tilled. And just then
you remember for no reason at all
that neither of them have gravestones,
but you’re comforted when you see
their names in the cracked concrete
as you back the trailer into the driveway.

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