Sleeping at the power plant,
curled up behind the machinery.
No sounds anywhere, except one:
the dusty, electric hum
of machines more powerful than I.
You’d said, between mouthfuls;
“You’ll make new friends.
The new house: even bigger,
It means we are more important.
You see? You understand?”
So bag packed,
and I’m off through the woods.
Contents: one sandwich, one mix tape,
one walkman, one blanket,
one pair of batman pajamas.
Some more sounds:
Me eating my packed sandwich,
the far-away sound of my walkman headphones
resting on the floor beside me,
and the ghosts of yesterday,
tapping along on the green sheet metal.
She smokes cigarettes but calls them fags.
“Everybody’s doing it,” she says,
and I look around to make sure I’m not a supporting actor
in a public service announcement.
She’s talking about the band Steely Dan
and I wonder how they got their name.
Someone’s wife yelling; “There’s a bug crawling on the ceiling fan!”
sounded like “Your band should be called Steely Dan!”
and there we go.
The smoke’s a cruel mistress,
and my lungs reject it immediately,
my lungs, having higher standards than I.
But I inhale again, and they settle.
“Settle down you inside bags,” I say to my lungs.
“You’re just guts and stuff; you’re not the boss of me.”
I inhale again and they protest again,
“No guts, no.” I’m saying, my voice, strained with smoke.