Requiem for a Dying Mall

It used to be my mall, back when it
used to be my old neighborhood.
It used to be a lot of people’s mall.
Back when the now barren empty
asphalt ocean was once full of cars.

One of the first real malls
long made small and obsolete
by ever leapfrogging, ever mega
megamalls in ever growing
circling nooses of suburbia.

I only visit now because my
car dealerships across the street.
This old tired liver-spotted mall
as good as place as any to catch
a movie, while tires are rotated.

It’s like walking through
an abandoned carnival in the
morning glare, laid bright dead.
Daylight harsh, unforgiving,
too many missing light bulbs.

Empty store fronts given over
to displays and signs begging
“Visit us across from the food court.”
The one hair stylist with her
solitary station in a row of ten.

Offering prayers on toothpicks
“try the Mongolian beef?”
The smell of fresh pretzels
mixing with the sickly incense
from the discount import shop.

The whole world’s on sale,
everything’s fifty percent off
America’s been marked down
2 for 1, take an additional
25 percent off marked price.

Only the pitter patter of
two elderly mall walkers
to break the cutting silence,
there’s not even muzak
to numb the pain.