923 Readings

Before the Common Era

Abandoned cars clotted every road.
Each basement was a museum
of progressively rustier stationary bikes.
You’d watch a blank VHS tape
‘til it stopped
and say the first thing that came to you,
things like “paper being torn in half”
or “new tires on hot asphalt”
or “burning dog hair”
or “ssssszzzzzhhhhhaaaaa”
and that’d be your name.
People would watch their TVs
only a few hours
before throwing them out.
You’d ride the bus for days at a time.
People knew only three songs
Poison’s “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”
and two others.
There’d be days with no moon
but then it’d come back all littered
with plastic stir sticks
& wrinkled Styrofoam cups
promising never to leave again.
For fun, you’d shoot holes
though the recyclables
with an air rifle.
There was the divorced waitress
you slept with
because she said your teeth were straight
and there was the bum who masturbated
next to you in the holding cell
and the Syran-wrapped sandwich
Hamilton country charged you $20 for
when you made bail.
There were only two ghosts
so it was easy
to not be in the room when they were.
There was a cassette of your mother
saying your name over and over.
“Ssssszzzzzhhhhhaaaaa” it said.
“Ssssszzzzzhhhhhaaaaa” it said.
“Ssssszzzzzhhhhhaaaaa” it said.
“Ssssszzzzzhhhhhaaaaa” it said.
“Ssssszzzzzhhhhhaaaaa” it said.
Posted 01/22/11
I was bad at being a human being in the early 2000's.
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