Hayden Nielander (Chloe Rodriguez)
Show Me Swine Racers
I’m going to fly so far under the radar that I scrape the sidewalk,
slow into a saunter, jab my hands into my pockets to make sure
they’re empty, drink somebody’s tear like it’s rain, do 28 in a 30,
set my soft thoughts free to fly south, whatever is turning my gums
red can keep right on, the night I disappear into
is a sunny two in the afternoon and I haven’t left my porch, the blues
—come get me, debt—come get me, I’ll ride in your van down
to the crater in the woods where they dig
for fossils and we can settle all this can’t get any lower business.
There used to be a Hayden with holes in his roof
so he could see the snowy stars in the eyes of a possum.
His shirt was made of rain and there were gobs of air
in his smile, trousers glassing in the cottonbeams of mothlight.
No, there was no such Hayden.
I’m thinking of a boy I knew
in the parking lot of the
grocery store we worked at
with park-blue surgery eyes, balancing
a future on a switchblade, he flipped
it into his hand, where it’s stayed.
That pharmacy used to be a jail, now they’ve set jail loose
into the air like a stringless balloon
and from the top of the Ferris wheel
I can see the toddlers riding on the
backs of hogs, holding onto the ears
and this little corner of town
in the carnival shine looks
evil as Texas neon.
The gun in me at least puts everything so plainly,
The convenience store called Hayden won’t get robbed tonight.
The IHOP cash register called Hayden is going to keep its tens and twenties.
The dark corner called Hayden doesn’t need a streetlamp, just enough
black powder to fill the palm of a hand.
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