Listen to feral cats screech on the other side of my window
Hiss poison, kill through play
Splinter, contort my spine to seem menacing
Lose the luxury of being angry, anymore
Made a nest of these dirty sheets
Hunt for the wrong kind of prey.
Everyone tells me there are a lot of fish in the sea
An abundance of them
But they’re slimy,
They have gaping mouths and bulging eyes;
I never acquired the taste.
The earth threatens this place, oozing through cracked skin
Bathed in the artificial longing light
Great pyramid of fragmented need, wasteful want.
Pray to the Gods whose temples destroy the land who bore –
Yet security was born here; she will be buried in a toxic landfill
Mousetraps left half open, and still they make the pilgrimage
Checkered ceiling, beige colossus
Unsanctimonious housewives numbed by the malaise of their golden years
Pillaged villages hidden by drywall, glass too tough to break
I still inhabit certain empty, forgotten spaces
Where my monuments grow taller
Where others’ gods creep in from every corner
Where I listen to the ever-fading silence
Where I go to hide
I can’t tell if my eyes are an unfit tool, or if my subject is disingenuous
Your enigmatic cheeks lost their warmth
Molecular movement I associate with love, comfort
Being in state of flux
I don’t want your flux
You oscillate between extremes, no logical pattern emerges
I can’t quantify you, your tears test acidic
Yet your needs, basic
Am I to trust the Truth or your truth?
I’m on my 7th spring roll and none of them taste as satisfying as a cigarette
I think of fire and smoke, of pleasant meetings with strangers
More faces swirling into contorted smiles
Handshakes with skeletons, smiles for the decayed
I don’t like your friends any more than mine like you
If 2+2 is 5 then our conversations are an imaginary number
One text, two texts, no response, no answer
I can extrapolate a line from any two points, but I’m operating on a different plane
You have no line, and I can’t measure the slope of the arch of your spine
I derive no pleasure from accusations, corrections
Yet I yield to your subjective proof
You are a tautology of negativity, damaging my DNA.
Still, I produce my ruler and measure the space between us
Mary Imgrund is a senior English major at Penn State Harrisburg.