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Deciding to Leave


by P.R. Mercado


As a child, I had a book about musical instruments,
and I spent afternoons laughing at the funny names:
Viola, Uke, Ukulele, and so on—surely, these things
cannot be called such funny names? Yet today, I fear
ordinary names for fantastic objects: Sex, Love, Mind.

Sometimes I see handsome boys driving cars as I walk
the streets of my beloved city. Where are they going?
Among them, who were going to the houses of their lovers
to spend the afternoon making love? Will they remember
the scruffy boy who stared at them as they passed
the McDonald's and the bank? I doubt it. 

Some evenings, I find myself in bars, and think them
disgusting places: Noisy, filthy, and boring. How
can these people be so happy? And about what? 
We are all young. My friends talk about their plans.
It is my turn to talk. "I want to learn the Uke," I say. 
What a fantastic name for an ordinary object.

I hardly recognize myself anymore, when 
I pass the singular mirror in my poorly lit bathroom
after evenings masturbating to distorted images:
Torsos, and assholes, and sweaty backs, and mouths. 
I haven't written a poem in so long. They ask me why
in the bar. I have lost fantastic objects, my friends,
all of which have deceptively ordinary names: Sex, Love, Mind.
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