Identity

A moldy pile of social security cards
all with used up numbers and names
no longer important burned with alcohol,
distilled in someone’s basement.
Long lines at the amusement park
where no one’s having fun accept
the pigeons eating everything we drop.
I want this heatwave to melt all the ice
we bought in bags and poured in halves
into our coolers that we haven’t washed
since last year if we’ve ever.
I ask the ice cream man if I can
hold on to the back door just until
we get down all these streets
I’d have to step through
without help to make it anywhere.
I’m not allowed to since the concrete
in its density could kill me,
but who would even see it happen
if it was meant to all along
with no exceptions?
All of these memories and photographs,
lined up in plastic pages of a brown book
you can buy in any grocery store
for far less than the candy by the register,
don’t ring any bells besides
the big ones in the clock tower
we forget about until the hour
must remind us all by singing.
After eighty one consecutive corporate
training videos the new hire
gouged out both his eyes
and ears while sitting in
the plastic chair his supervisor
discovers he has died in,
just before the shift was starting.
He used the paperclips they
used to hold his documents together,
I guess they’ve found another card
to grow the pile.
I’ll shut up now, says the shy one
at the party with their sunglasses
falling out of their pocket,
and lack of car keys keeping them
from running off, without another word
to anyone.

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