Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Inventory", from the upcoming collection WHERE ALLIGATORS SLEEP


         (27) Various books, most dealing with math, history and carpentry from a time when teaching himself Algebra and learning to build a house gave his life some direction and deeper meaning.
         (14) Pill bottles.
         (2) Military outfits.  One is field fatigues and the other dress.  They have somehow faded despite having hanged in the closet for more than two decades.
         (1) Bed.  It is as stained as one would expect.  A six-foot long indention crawls up the middle, a trench formation twenty years in the making.
         (38) Plastic toy cars, the kind used with electric race tracks on Christmas morning. The toy cars are under the bed.  He put them there to keep from thinking of them.
         (237) Pills – Paxil, Lorcet, Buspar, Xanax, ad nausem.
         (1) Nightstand collapsed with random bits of candy wrappers, twisted cigarette packs.  The room smells of stale smoke and chocolate, body sweat.
         (3) Picture frames hanging above the bed.  All of them turned backwards.  A child's picture is on the other side.  Too painful he said many times.  Too hard.
         (4) Bottles of 2-Liter Coke.  They have long been emptied and are now filled with urine.
         (8,034) Days lost, whispers behind the ear.

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