Compound

I break open the shell and scrape the innards out
the clouds plume like smoke or blood dispersing in water.
This creature from the shallow sand now just separate
pieces in my hand.

The highway speeds are fluctuating with construction signs,
and the blurring lines between the lanes that disappear before
anyone is ready. The treeline is steady with its overbearing shadow
bringing early night to those caught in its concrete scar
that only bleeds in tar and built up rain caught in the places it is broken.

A convertible on its last legs drives crookedly into a junkyard
with an old woman behind the wheel. She screams at the caretaker
over the noisy engine that she needs the thing fixed before tomorrow.
He tells her he doesn’t know anything but how to take things apart
and categorize their pieces. She shows him what he wants to see
and he opens up the gate for her to proceed between the stacks
of ruined voyages.

Alter boys sell church incense to the punk girls from the high school
before mass in the back parking lot where they shoot rocks
out of a slingshot at the birds.
They were only caught once and when they ran away
from the footsteps of the priest and concerned parishioners
they kept on going for their whole entire lives.

A man sells his car to buy a gun and all the vodka he could drink
before he died. He considered himself a sacrifice to the world
for all the mistakes he walked right into or enjoyed in some way
no one understood. Even if everyone forgave him it wouldn’t change
anything but the taste of passing time, and that was his whole problem.
Since it started he has wanted it to stop.

When the apocalypse arrives it will be clear from all the water towers
switching names of towns around until we drown in what we cannot
just remember. Last second miracles are possible but only in a way
that has a price like how our wasted time compounds until it sounds
like the alarm clock every morning, or the music in the elevator,
or maybe screaming down a stairway begging someone just to stay
a little longer.

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