Crusted morning, eyes awaken shut. What dreams have leaked? Walk into world, translucent scabs struggle for vision while I…
Even scent of jasmine carries a bottom note of petroleum.
Raccoons broke in again, kitchen a plash of cat food across counter top, rubble of plastic bags, cereal shattered in bowl. Sink, tile, floor.
Horizon always red now from the fires. Each day, more suburbs break out in riots.
Corner girl shot. Candles, neighbors, bouquets. Against fence. Propped picture behind glass, brown eyes sad. As if she already knew.
I remember taking forty dollars at the cash machine, but my wallet is empty now.
Middle night screaming. Down somewhere street. Window sees nothing. Investigate—but what? Police call won’t come. Say prayer for the screamer. Asleep hard fall back.
Why didn’t you call me back?
Medicated children. Dolls, limp arms, broken necks. Remote-controlled trucks spin wild circles. Never children remember dreams.
Do the jays squatting in my dying lemon tree have avian flu?
TV president talking, voiceover won’t sync up. Lips move, cheery soundtrack. Remix from the 70s. Deep furrows in his brow.
Quick, change the channel—“American Rehab” is coming on. That show where addicts compete for who can stay clean the longest.
Footprints on muddy bottom of drained reservoir. No one can tell me if the herons will come this year. Or next. Ever again.
They swear to us that what the soldiers did was not torture.
I’ve stopped leaving my house. Deliveries, parcels at the end of the drive, locked iron gate. Sometimes neighbors steal the medicines before I can retrieve them.
Police demolishing cardboard houses of the homeless.
Electricity only comes on a few hours a day. Illuminating what had been dim. We never know which hours it will be.
Front door gapes open. Nothing missing, but everywhere fingerprints not my own. On drawer pulls, on my pillow, on the spines of my books.
What if they lied when they said there were no ghosts?
If my identity is stolen, whose memories will haunt me now?
Drone helicopters above roof shine their beams into my all night window. Dreams slice through the blades, taunt a darker tomorrow.