Breaking Down

I turn off the lights to make it easier
to picture her on the train between
her district and my own.
The windows are pointless, showing only
the neglected rusted walls of all our man made
mistakes, but without them things would just be
more enclosed.

The lowest on the corner store totem pole
props the back door open with a plastic crate
well after closing time, and carries bags of trash
over his shoulder. He is not really there and all
the weight left on his back is just a consequence
of the limits kept on real imagination.

Self taught young witches do their best to break
old spells that on the surface never could be proven
true, but still they draw their symbols on the printer paper
stolen from the lab right off the lobby.
The lights are on so they can see each other’s bodies
because the magic is beneath what they conceal.

An open mic is prepared on a plywood stage
in the corner of a comic store where no one ever pays.
The complicated coffee making equipment behind
the counter is all salvaged from antique stores,
and is mostly there for show, while all the workers
brew the real thing in the back with something
far much more conventional.

The wheels on her skate board consist of two
different colors lined up diagonally, and the graphic
behind them is just a tribute to the tattoo on her back,
which was an “X” made out of ink that conformed
to all the curves and didn’t fight them.

She rode the final stretch back home by carving
back and forth across the open empty street,
and unlocked her door with a butter knife,
she had magnetized discretely, to a spot
among the second floor’s imitation of a railing.

There was never any sleep where she grew up,
but with any luck it would just show up
when she needed it like a friend out on the highway
when you’ve finally broken down,
and the whole town seems to laugh without
the courtesy of stopping in their tracks.

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