Poverty

When I was poor, I never filled
my tank, not wanting to waste more
than five dollars in case I had to junk
my car; not wanting to brood, imagining
that well of gasoline, inky and rich,
growing stagnant in the rusting tank,
in the dead car, in the junk yard,
in the night; not wanting to find
myself climbing a cyclone fence,
siphoning gas up a fat straw, spitting
it all back in my purse, the unctuous
taste of poverty forver on my tongue.

Garnett Kilberg Cohen