passport

I went to get a passport photo
she was in her late thirties
her breasts about to fall out
she took me in the back
and sat me under the lights.
“you’ve got an interesting face,”
she said.
I wanted to tell her about her breasts
that they were interesting
but I didn’t.
“are you a writer?” she asked.
“yes,” I admitted.
she took one shot.
“why don’t you bring around some of
your books?” she asked.
“I never display my wares,” I answered.
she took another shot.
“what do you write about?” she asked.
“everything,” I answered.
she took a third shot.
“what do you write about most?” she asked.
“women,” I admitted.
“that’ll be ten dollars,” she said.
I paid her.
“the photos will be ready in 3 days,” she
said, “but I wish you’d bring your books
around.”

I walked back down Western
crossed the bridge
over the freeway.
the retaining fence wasn’t very high.
a person could quite easily flip off into
traffic.   I walked quite a distance from
that fence:

I wanted to get to Paris.
I had taken a lot of shit for those
passport photos.