Good Competition

The circumstances are like the black metal fences
around the graveyard where the caretaker takes
every bribe he can. He doesn’t care what the people
do there because he isn’t payed enough to pay attention.
Newspapers that once filled their own buildings
are now relocating to strip malls where the eyes
of all the higher ups are glued to every single
morning spreadsheet.

People who know they are sick walk the sidewalks
begging to be healed with just the contact that they make
with passing stares. The new generation of mosquitoes
bite with less mercy than their fathers, but the blood
all tastes the same from year to year.
Between typing in the numbers the adjusters watch the window
and have daydreams about what it would be like just to wander.

The orphans on their playground kick the sand and let it fall
straight from their hand and while they watch it they
remember all their mothers.
Taking orders over the phone the dispatch doesn’t know
where all the ringing dial tones belong against the song
of zero answers. I will get back to that sometime
when I’ve mulled it over further, says the store clerk
to the man at the machine dispensing darkness
out the chimney to the world.

More nothing is the only way to stop the overcrowding
at the bus stop where all the neighborhood awaits
a lagging ride because insurance for a car has gotten
well beyond the price of something possible.
Sitting three to a seat the whole town is shuttled
to work at four different facilities all owned
by the same conglomerate, but the bar
they looked forward to later was still good competition.

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