By CL Bledsoe

When we were old enough to be trusted
with vehicles and able to finagle gas money,

we’d drive to the Conoco Fast Lane
at the Fair Oaks crossroads for a box of fried

chicken that tasted of crunchy pepper, warm rolls,
crispy potato wedges. It was worth the haul

to get out of town, and teenage boys will eat
anything. There was an Exxon in Colt that sold meat

on a stick in an attempt at exoticism that tasted
like squirrel. The BP on 64 had a cheeseburger

if you were desperate. We had a buddy
who’d try to romance a woman who worked there

in an attempt to get chicken strips. Right in town,
at the Circle N Exxon Mike’s mom ran, they had

chicken gizzards you wouldn’t believe. All the cops
bought them, that’s why Mike never got tickets.

Stuff My Stupid Heart Likes by CL Bledsoe (co-author of and The Wild Word:

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