She put in video tapes that skip
at every ten minute increment.
She didn’t know magnetic tape
could skip. The video was of a woman
without clothes on in a swimming pool.
It seemed like it was decades in the past.
She had to make the minutes last
because her parents would be
returning from the bank.
The pictures cleared her mind
away like forests burning quickly
to the ground.

Lizards crawled through the grass
in the backyard and up the outer walls
of blue sheds barely used except
for lawn mowers and plastic chairs
when they weren’t needed.
Spiders nested in the corners
catching mostly dust in their webbing,
but they weren’t so keen on eating anymore.

An athlete practiced free throws
in the driveway missing frequently.
He knew the team would leave
him far behind. The pressure of external
goals wreaked havoc on his lost
unopened mind. Still the window
to her room was always open
since she liked to watch
him work on all his weakness.

The black car parked on the street
is driven off toward the city,
and when it gets there it is parked
again and keyed. A line cut across
the perfect paint that curved
in ways unlike a snake.
It somehow didn’t look
like a mistake.
Footsteps up the staircase
hit her eardrums like the downbeat
of a song. She knew they thought
that she was weak, but of course
it’s always easy to be wrong about
the things you wish would change.

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