Feb 01

alone and insane in tiny rooms

This is the way the world looks
near the end, all the city’s junk
collected and safely stored for
the mass combustion, accelerants
provided, in fifth floor walkup
now that the elevators no longer
work, all the stuff no one needs
bagged in corners, an open morgue
for daily racing form news,
late scratches, telephonic transmissions
she wrote down on salvaged scraps:
hot dog wrappers, deli sandwich
papers, air sickness bags, pooper
scooper packets, using blood from
a thousand paper cuts for ink, stuff
she photocopied and collated,
only the outline images of what she
wrote clear, all the words invisible,
“they way they should be” she
whispers to herselves in self-imposed
darkness, munching on dead insects
stored in wrinkled brown paper bags,
“the best ones are the hard shelled ones,”
she say watching the snow fall in
between channels on portable no cable
TV, alone and insane in tiny rooms,
four feet of garbage between her and
a locked fire door, single window
hermetically sealed by grime, a perfect
kind of darkness inside, customized
for smoking her own special brand
of, acquired-from-the-street, loco weed.

–Alan Catlin