in a parking lot

i’ve been in a parking lot at night and some might call it empty,
a straggler or two in spots under lamp posts.
i am never sure if cars are full, occupied by people like me.
i have been in a parking lot alone, in every sense of alone except physical. night night night within me.
as a child, my mother would warn me against turning on the little light in the car roof:
“people will see inside, people will see us”.
and i sit inside my car in these lonely parking lots, squinting at sitting cars,
“is there a person in there?”
i wonder what they look like, i wonder what they’re doing here.
my mother is calling and i rush to find my phone in the dark.
turn it off. the sound of ringing will give me away. tell the world that i am here.
i scramble and scramble but i won’t turn the light on.
i am my mother’s child and the people i want to see might see me.
and i scramble and scramble alone in a car,
nothing but me, the invisible people, and the night stars.


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