Apprentice (from Farm Town)
After the colossal loss, I strayed solo, taking stabs at fun. I slashed down idiot water park slides and wandered malls filled with carousels and lingerie and pretzels. I stood where I could stand, in spaces with decorative pillars, in places that propped my body up like a doll or a taxidermied lady. I became history, grew dust petals. I waited for who-knows-what at the retaining wall in the kind end of the park, the bathroom stall at work, the bank line, the security checkpoint at City Hall. Unable to swallow home, I found myself in a hotel with the perfunctory city sounds of busses sighing curbside and couples confiding over room service portions. I watched celebrity dance competitions on department store flat screens and applied cosmetic counter samples to the thins of my eyelids when sleep fled. Luxury, commerce: assurances that the world goes on and on. I blinked and our city shrunk, so I ducked past suburbs, caught my breath mid-pasture, kept running. At the edge I encountered an oblivion drop- off, blackness heavier than death. I crossed the chasm and found the farm. Diagnosis: there’s an end to us and it’s flat.