©Moronic Ox Literary Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books
by Andy Sell

you rise
and stand under the headlines every morning
digging at your eyes
and clinging to the shade they cast
well after noon
with displaced prayers spilling out over the edges of polite behavior
at dinner
and when sleep comes
it comes crashing
like computers
or like dead cars dropped from helicopters hovering over the freeway
to provide you with either
or nightmares
secret portable biographies piled up into
bloodless statistics once the screaming has ceased
though the smell of gasoline lingers
the screen is black
all that work lost
oral tradition silenced
by closed caskets
there's no auto-save
and the defibrullators aren't a guarantee
so we trek with pulled plugs and
outdated virus scans
and night
under headlines constantly retreating from their progeny
and we keep our most necessary prayers to
don't want god reading our diaries
don't want to risk boogeymen and bad luck
stepping on all those cracked mirrors for
seven times seven times seven
in search of a decent pair of shoes
when the Historians come looking for directions
just tell them to follow the bloody footprints
yeah, dude
that's when nobody carried nobody
tell them to watch the sky for headlines
as landmarks, all
"make a left at the second-to-last presidential election and keep going straight
til you see World War III,
then make a right."
tell them to catalog all the splashes of
spilled prayer along the way
you know, for reference
"oh, look. i stepped in a puddle of Global Peace
and got my boots wet."
tell them that nightmares in the desert
are divine visions and
they shouldn't get scared until sleep brings nothing
but when that happens,
they better shit themselves.
tell them to hurl obscenities and dishes at the suppertable
and dart out into the harsh sun
every morning
if they want to avoid horrible accidents
tell them to let their prayers flow freely from
every hole with which biology saw fit to puncture them
if they don't want to bleed to death through soles and toes
lacerated by superstition
tell them to whisper their secrets through megaphones
and night
and the rest of you
for the sake of history
the rest of you
come out from under the bold type
stop digging at your eyes
save your work as often as you can and
memorize your prayers for some evening when
you hear a helicopter overhead
while your stuck in traffic
on the freeway.

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The Loyal Opposition: Environmental Prose and Poetry by Keith Ainsworth
Poet Andy Sell
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