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Lines Written in a Honda Civic


by P.R. Mercado


Raymond Carver used to write poetry in his car.
Tonight, I tried it too.
I have a car like Raymond Carver
but cannot write poetry like Raymond Carver.
The car isn't enough.

The DJ is talking to me like she knows me. 
Who are you to talk to me like that?
But I cannot bear to be alone.
How would she feel if she knew this,
that we are alone from here?
She wouldn't laugh half as much. 

Today, he was so close
I could hear his lunch dissolving inside him.
His kidneys filtering iced tea;
his colon packing shit tightly.

I liked him better in my dreams,
where he is empty 
beneath the perfection of his symmetry.

When he is not here to fuck me: gone forever,
buried beneath the day's business,
the lives of other people,
the Liszt transcription of Wagner
    I am trying to perfect on the piano.

I must tell you a secret.

I am a man who punishes himself
by choosing to live 
when he wants nothing more than to die.
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