Vote Baudelaire

william-doreskitwitterWilliam Doreski teaches writing and literature at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His work has appeared in various online and print journals and in several collections, most recently, The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013).

Vote Baudelaire

Sometimes the sidewalks roll up at night and neglect to unroll at dawn. Most people don’t notice. The clock in the Unitarian steeple chimes thirty hours. A radio spills unwanted news about unlovable people. I observe strangers laden with political pamphlets stalking our dullest citizens. I also note fish clamoring from our drought-depleted river, hoping to evolve. The day absorbs itself in spongy expressions of grief. Not grief for any particular loss but for the general lowering of the sky. A pimple of a sun pustulates the cloud cover, trying to convince me. A bumper sticker reads “Vote Baudelaire.” An absence shaped like a soap bubble rises above the village. A child pops it with a pellet gun, and police race to the scene. For once, they refrain from shooting the child, but confiscate his weapon. I wish I could park my car more dramatically, but my money has run out. Time to douse the ego in hot lard and proclaim it edible. Time for dogs left in hot cars to bark the world senseless. Time for the steeple clock to reset itself according to Greenwich Meanest Time.

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