Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Sunoco Church and Other Poems— Morgan Boyer

Aug 3, 2022 | Poetry | 0 comments

Sunoco Church 

Fuel gauge empty, fiery words filling the backseat:
It’s time for a pitstop.
Just like church,
no one comes to a Sunoco
because they want to.
It’s a place filled with miserable, empty people
trying to evade eye contact
with other miserable, empty people.
Take the forty-something cashier
who is trying to work to pay off
a parking ticket; or Tom the Towman
who is collecting a rear-ended Honda
Odyssey’s based body in the parking lot
Even the gas pump nozzle itself, forced
into breastfeeding a stranger’s child
like some mechanical handmaiden,
suckling and suckling and suckling
its Saudi saliva until like the desert
it originates from, it dries up and becomes
empty and miserable, just like
the denizens around it.


Sitting cross-legged on stale folding chairs
as your left eye wanders to see a man
texting as the featured reader tries to answer
the audience’s questions (a.k.a demands), contouring
her words to sound like she’s agreeing that
Sumerian poetry would go well with jazz
but really she doesn’t and neither do the rest of us.

After all, everyone knows that Gilgamesh’s fingers
are too big for the key pieces of an alto saxophone.

How Fortunate The Embryo 

How fortunate the embryo who never knew
how broken yolks leak out of containers as
their ankle twists on sunlit pavement.

How fortunate they are
to never sit in a room only lit by a screen
as they wait for family to tell them about
which slices of land turned to which colors.

How fortunate they are
to never smash the front of their parents’ car
into a telephone pole at two in the morning.

How fortunate they are
to never have to listen to a conversation go from
“Can you hand me the sauce” to “I don’t believe
Putin is THAT bad,” during Jesus’s re-birthday.

How fortunate they are
to never have their driveway flooded with the guts
of the sea, family photos stained beyond recognition

How fortunate they are
to never have the branch manager call them into an office
to tell them that the lifeline to their apartment will be severed
because of an offhand comment overheard by a customer.

How fortunate they are
to never have to decide between filling a cavity, getting their
nephew a gift card he’ll lose, or paying their student loans.

How fortunate the embryos are
to never experience capitalism
and skip to the finishing line first.

You Need The Discount Code 

Copy-Paste the code for what you need; $40 gluten-free cereal,
or the 15-second ad of 2 people pretending to be the same person
to show the difference between a 2XL and an M elastic waistband.

The context is different, the message is the same: you need
the sleeker plastic DDR mat since your current one is getting
too sticky, the deluxe pack of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards that DO NOT
have a Blue Eyes-White Dragon, the Macy’s mascara that
will rot for six months in the pit of your purse’s trenches,
the 3-for-1 sale on the shawls to impress people you’ll likely forget,
the writing software you’ll never use, the audiobooks
collecting digital dust instead of being listened to at the gym.

Ask Guy Montag what the discount code for Denham’s Dentifrice is.


Hover your hands, coated in sweat
as you plunge my head into the belly
of the earth, the reused soil seeded
with fertilizer speaks of springs past,
when you parroted policies from
McMansion-mandated conservatism
repeated as chantra in class, Paul’s
views on gender & sex pressed on your
forehead until the cap was thrown.

The brainwashing stopped.

Reading a pdf of Bell Hooks knocked you
off of your “old-fashioned” high horse,
all of the praises of white old ladies
now lie in a pile of sticks to be set aflame

Also Read: 

Instead of Turtles All the Way Down and Other Poems— Ace Boggess

Between Us— A Poem by Indrani Tuli





Morgan Boyer is the author of The Serotonin Cradle (Finishing Line Press, 2018) and a graduate of Carlow University. Boyer has been featured in Kallisto Gaia Press, Thirty West Publishing House, Oyez Review, Pennsylvania English, and Voices from the Attic. Boyer is a neurodivergent bisexual woman who resides in Pittsburgh, PA.


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