March 15, 2016 by RJ
The odor of fossilized urine clings to denim as you
bash asphalt, miles and miles of steps to libraries,
dollar stores, and church lunches. You feast on canned
delights and expired bread. You see pollution in
bathroom mirrors, a reflection of not a man, but
a theory of a man. Your abused skin is a pale map of
sustained neglect. Your eyes, once lively blue, are
lacquered shade now, torched glass. You shave with
donated razors, savage thrusts before someone walks
in. You stroll away, plucking discarded cigarettes off
the ground. You depress the trigger of a shoplifted lighter
and inhale the holiest goddamn taste in the world. Three
drags of nicotine rapture fortifies you with the energy to keep
moving: to abandoned houses, rotting box trailers, the
woods behind the shopping center. Any place where you
can crawl into solitude and dissolve inside nightfall’s lullaby.
Aluminum light poles will watch over you like distant parents,
rogue guardians of the displaced and vanished.
CHRIS MILAM lives in the bucolic wasteland that is Hamilton, Ohio. He vapes strawberry shortcake e-liquid like a madman between frequent naps. His stories have appeared in WhiskeyPaper, Jellyfish Review, Bartleby Snopes, the Molotov Cocktail, and elsewhere.