f major

he buzzes about in uptown, endless commotion outside of CPK,
friends—and finance,
wanders around in Lush for his wife, scratching his five o’clock shadow chin,
asking strangers for miscellaneous opinions
he doesn’t know what she wants but he settles on the bath bombs anyway
like he does every year,
but he conveniently forgets,
when the time to buy presents swings around,
he eventually ambles to Frost, takes a window seat with a medium butter pecan,
there’s no surprises around here,
but he will bustle and smile to the sound of f major
on the radio
without fail.

aqua lux redux

it evaporates into the air, runs in the rivers,
homeland to the ninety-percent undiscovered sea aliens,
nothing to worry about
no?

stand in the shower for what seems like hours,
getting clean clean clean
who else is using that water?

walking meat fields
soak in an ocean
so we can have our ribs, prime cut, drumstick, wings
—was it good when you sat
and scarfed your meal down?

you don’t care much because you won’t be here,
you hear about the children to come after you,
whether they’re your own or not,

the ones before you left you this,
but you shall not repeat the cycle
for the ones after you.

CORONA

Not like the beer, but like the brilliant luminosity engulfing stars and suns. The thing she called a heart was so sharp she could stab a man to death. The pinpoints of light in her pupils meant nothing compared to the halo surrounding her, as her name represented.

She stands at the isolation tanks of oddball humans that have come to her for service. They have been in these simple, minimalistic glass-plastic-metal tanks for a little over five years. Their bodies are shriveled and they cannot see. They cannot hear anything but the hallucinations and the realities swirling around in their air. They touch the ground and she watches intently as they scream, leg muscle twitching and depleted from years of inactivity.

Soggy white hands grab ahold of her arm, nails soft as bread. The halo-woman, she doesn’t mind the oddball humans clawing into her skin, for she is the fire of the universe—and they, mere humans.

Keep your feet on the ground. Good, that’s it.

They cannot speak yet. Out of their mouths are trails of spittle and little croaks and grunts. She doesn’t question what kind of technological advancement has allowed these humans to survive without five years of food or hydration.

You remember why I put you here, yes?

She manages to catch their pupils, vibrating in place, focused on hers. They do not hear her, unsurprisingly. They can still hear the distant hallucinations of radio silence and soundtrack to a cash register jingling. But their bodies do not sway to the rhythm.

No? No answers?

They remain isolated, the humans, in their unique tribulations. She wrapped her strong fingers around their necks and pushed them back into the water, back into isolation. They struggled under her veiny arms, flapping and flopping, but not with much force or power. She would repeat this routine for the next four years, until they remembered their sins in green and came to.

The corona around my head? No, no. That’s just the fluorescent flashlight shining above my head, as I walk around and wait for you to wake up.

 

brindle wood

I stand
leaning against the kitchen counter.
the tiles are hospital white, but not glossy.
speckled with stains, broken glass, food spots, whatnot.

blink continuously and I see phantoms, glowing silver flecks
raining out of thin air,
imagining they fall onto the boring tile,
bland as an ice-cold drink in mouth
that is desert dry, that is void of any direction.

young shade of pink

oh, all the young people sit in the corner,
closest to the electrical sockets,
faces irradiated by the haze of electric blue.

they periodically lift their heads to whisper
to each other, to tell short stories of delight and shame.

give them hell for being young,
watch their fists curl,
raised in the air, while wearing their color,
their shade:
millennial pink.

office summer

comfy sandaled shoes, no, not Birkenstocks:
you sit in this rolling chair and every time it spins,
you seem to move three weeks at a time.

your sitting position becomes unbearable and there are imprints to show you
that you’ve been here for too long.

past the empty cubicles you occasionally hear a fight with a spouse
way down the hall, through oddly cold and humid dark space,
you feel bad for listening in but it’s so quiet you can hear each hiss,
each prickle of sibilance.

all the details escape you but you’re convinced Mitch is having a heart attack in there,
in that office, enclosed by his desk, grey circles emphasizing his age,
sweat damp on his periwinkle shirt,
the sauna heat comes from his mother asking
“why aren’t you married?”
and the low frequency response “haven’t we been through this a million times?”
the jingle of the pens and pencils in the Isotopes mug sound deceptively welcoming
but they only jump up and down as he pounds his fist down on the desk.

yet, ten minutes later, at a quarter to noon,
he stands at your open space cubicle, and greets you with a smile on his face,
without fail, everyday.