Population 800

Horizons in my memory
like transparent lines
the windows make with blinds
that I leave open on the days
when it is worthless looking in.

The police walk around
in their mech suits
shooting tear gas canisters
through school bus windows
before laughing hysterically.

Grocery store cashiers
get beaten by their managers
just for being needed in the first place.

By the way I’m the one who’s saying this
so don’t freak out too much about the speaker.

Carhops at the old school drive through
deliver orders on their roller skates
until young Daphne hits a pebble
and trips over her own feet.
She slams down onto the pavement
tearing open the cheap uniform
she felt pretty in before
her day was ruined.

Midday bar fights break out
until the fire department
is called in every direction
only never to answer.

Marsha gets her chemo done
at home and while she takes it
she smokes the grass her daughters
brought to her for comfort.

Something told her over time
that she would not die
like the doctors all expected.
She had a dream about the pine trees
in her backyard burning down
and one big fire spreading outward
through the whole town
leaving nothing else behind.

She reconsidered this while flicking
her fresh roach over the railing
of her balcony and sinking further
through the poison to the floor.

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