the republic of doo-wop

by dm gillis

when I was a kid (10)
a crew came round
and tore down the local mountain
to maintain the integrity of civilization

but they weren’t to blame
it was a work order act of violence
and to us boys they were fascinating

the labourers at the coffee truck
the surveyors playing the angles
and the foreman dreaming of the weekend
of empty desert highways
finned Chevrolets and
any floral print damsel
other than his own untidy wife
riding shotgun in the republic of doo-wop

we watched them and drank Orange Crush
then returned the bottles for two cents
and that night I dreamed
with my fists clenched
of being anything else