Ode to a Flatbed Load of Satellite Toilets

A load of Satellite toilets went by today on a flatbed truck.
It seemed so funny, such an absurd comment on life,
that I was struck
with the need to write this little ditty about those “johns” on display,
minus the John Phillips Sousa marching band,
but still, just the same . . . commodes on parade.

On hot summer days of too much sun, corn dogs, and grease . . .
cotton candy, fairground beer and lemonade,
it sits out past the booths and carnival barkers, screaming
kids on rides, beckoning and shimmering, an oasis in the shade.
Through the tall brown grass and the broken glass,
over condoms used and tossed on a well-worn trail of dirt,
you hurry now and wonder how, or even if, you’ll make it;
the roll of thunder amid a tidal wave;
you have to go so bad it hurts.
Almost there, just one more curve, before you find relief,
like others before, rushing toward that door through the sticky air,
only to see, when you round the bend, a snaking, waiting line,
a trail of tears, anguish, fidgeting, fear — in this toilet zone of despair.
A desperate place of bitten lips bloody, tightly crossed legs, and white puckered face
where fathers cringe and children wail, trying bravely to hold it all in,
until, thankful for two-holer havens, they rush in to take their place,
rightful, temporary heirs to the throne, sitting hunched in nirvana, cheeks to the rim.

To some, a peaceful space, an aromatic place, with an ambiance all its own,
where the heat settles down and the sweat trickles down,
near the algae-choked creek where frogs croak and honey bees drone.
There’s graffiti on the walls and suspicious looking tissue
stuck to the ceiling and the floor.
Evidence of boredom, the tedium of biological necessity, all human issue.
If it’s true what they say, that you are what you eat,
then cotton candy woman, corn dog boy, sno-cone girl, and mini-donut man
have all left their mark here, intestinal waste piled under your seat.
If history can be made, left, then lost, and finally refound,
what better place to dig, to search, to learn of diets long past
than sifting through layers of feculence in this malodorous mound?
A detailed and deep cess pool of human debris, a rare archeological find.

Much can be learned by what drops, then smells, and finally dies here,
alluring to maggots and flies, ants, and yes, even snakes—
a reeking cauldron of fear, of fangs in the dark and strikes to the rear
of the inventive among us, who hear slithering far down below.
Trapped, enclosed in the dark by our bowels, here in this slew,
fretting, wondering what Lovecraftian horrors have spawned and now grow
just underneath us, below–fetid, wet, and so warm, putrid and worming
their way to the top, to tickle our butts with hot fecal breath
before pulling us down, submerging and sucking, mewling and squirming
through that hole, that gateway to hell, gaping larger the longer we sit.
Sweating and straining, puffing and praying, imagination run wild,
we beg for release, for redemption, for light, and the relief of a good shit.
Sometimes too fast, but now when we need it, agonizingly slow,
elimination at last, relief and release. Shaking and shrunken, you open the door
to the line and the sunlight, on legs gelatinous, stumbling, we know
freedom at last from the diarrhea demon’s humbling control.

— Elaine Pedersen©

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