Sorry, We’re Closed

After the day, the mall is
a place to rejuvenate.

I traveled down the escalator —
those few that are still moving at
nine to ten o’clock in the evening.
It’s hard to trod down escalators
like stairs, they’re steep.

As soon as I landed,
there were the sounds of closing
metal doors of shops
like sounds of wheels
of old-fashioned
running railroad trains.

Some would close it half
to let customers give their
final look at their goods,
and go out with
paper bags.

On the central plaza where
the musicians play random sounds
the guitar is kept back to its black case
Performers bid goodbye and part ways.

I see tired children asking moms to lift
not by dads, for they carry the bags
full of goods bought from the stores.

Fastfood chains are quiet
“Next counter please.” “Closed”
It’s unusual.

Feet of sales ladies are
already bent on the floor.
They had to. Who would
take standing for 12 hours
with no breaks at all?

The nearest exitway is closed
I had to walk to the other side
where the last door to be closed
is found. The security guard told me.

I walked with uniformed people
in yellow blouse and black skirt
talking, laughing as if they’re
the first words.

City lights. Cabs. Beeps.
Then I heard the loudest
sound of metal door closing.

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