Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bud Smith

You Can Remain Anonymous

from time to time
we descend the fire escape declaring war on 173rd street

on Friday night
there was a wall of cops on the corner
a girl was abducted
in an unmarked van gunpoint, ski masks children saw it all crouching behind
the chain link fence
in the dog park

our problems:
the corner store is closed
we have to walk uphill to get beer there’s construction
they’ve torn up the roadI loop around forever
searching for a spot
“in the city it’s not called a road” “who fucking cares?”

the subway will soon contain
all the hellstorms of Hell itself and we will sweat
the fruit-stands return
but nothing is ripe yet
I eat it anyway
like a world destroyer
nothing sadder than a bland pear

Saturday, a squad card
rives all up and down the block blasting a looped statement
“if anyone has information regarding an incident
involving a missing person
and a white unmarked van driven away in the night
please contact the NYPD
you can remain anonymous”

for lunch I make eggs
I make bacon
the toast is perfect
best toast I’ve ever toasted we sit at the yellow table slowly sipping hot coffee eyeing each other up

all while the cop cars slowly circle below playing that statement

she’s afraid. I’m afraid
it’s like we will be dragged off at any moment
by our hair, by our teeth
by the veins of our heart however they’d figure out how to do that
criminal masterminds

Monday, at her desk
her co-workers ask her about it
“the thing” It gets much coverage
all across the office
by lunch, a girl has found some info online that says: “over the weekend persons of interest came forward and confessed to police that
they were involved in the ‘abduction’ on 173rd street. It seems
a young man was picking up
his girlfriend for a
SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY and startled her. she screamed
she got in the van. they drove away to the party. had cake.
had balloons that was it. happy birthday”

and I stand
at my corner store window peering into the darkness
wondering when we’ll crash land into Heaven, and get our just rewards for all of our uphill struggles
never, probably
I crunch into a hard nectarine.

previously published in the Olentangy Review

Bud Smith works heavy construction in New Jersey. He lives in NYC. His recent book is the novel F-250.

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