People all around them tell them
repeatedly that they respect nothing.
They say that all they can hope for
is a merciful pinch on the neck
that reminds them they never
had the upper hand. They punch
holes through old bits of hardware
they no longer use and attach them
to their key chains to reflect the kind
of people they claim to be, and aren’t lying.
They gather together in a basement made of
gray stone and old wood that has been painted
over to look new, and they stare into each others
screens while drinking Turner’s iced tea sometimes
spiked with liquor and sometimes not.
They talk about only what they find funny and
worthwhile and have towers of soda cans stacked
on their tables that get taller and taller in attempts
to out do each other. Dimensions accessed only through
coding and well built machines were their stomping
grounds, and it didn’t matter one bit that it wasn’t real.

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