There’s no music to this she says quietly
while struggling with the wire
that leads from the cassette player
to the headphone jack on her phone
when she’s all alone on her lunch break.

She parks in the cool place that no else
thinks they can because the painted lines
have faded there and only those
who do not care can see them.

There are plastic cups in the grass
that get picked up and replaced every week,
and when it rains the paint runs off them
like they’re bleeding and the gutters
turn bright shades of yellow and red
another omen that the world is dead
it just hasn’t quite yet realized it’s not breathing.

Everyone is finding out their own way
that’s it’s too late for them to find
that buried treasure they’ve been dreaming of
since they first saw that fake map
behind some glass that hasn’t
kept up with the dust.

I guess that should bring solace
to the rest of us still searching
with our shovels slowly mixing
with the dirt as they destroy themselves
by digging even deeper.

She looks at all the phone numbers
she has written down and saved
somewhere in cyberspace
that cannot be erased without
her letting them, and makes the choice
again to leave them where they are.

Her stupid broken shitty car
makes noises every time
she tries to start it up to the give
back to the battery she borrowed from,
and it’s a catastrophe when this time
it just dies there where the air is clear,
and she has no idea
how she is getting home.

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