Greetings from the swamp
or what’s left of it after the parade
has cum itself to sleep.
More than the place itself
I appreciate our inability to drain it,
the complicated balloon art we make
to negotiate partial custody
of what some people call god.
Others manage to escape
what’s coming to them.
Here, they laid low for generations
emerging purple and squinty, wholly
believing in the cleansing properties
of automatic weapons. The standoff
was brief and poorly documented
unlike the electric fence laid down
in the decades to come.
I wish I could say I didn’t partake
but I will hang onto the moralizing
documentary they make exactly
eighteen years to the date, our
innocence no longer a child.
Greetings from the basin
says the alien watching over
this gas station bathroom
and its scabby poetry.
Employees must wash their brains.
For a good time phone home.
As if it were that easy to escape
the pull of satellites.
Drunk on their blue pollution
I search for that rare metal
known as calm.
A lizard vaping outside the strip swears
the last administration stashed it away
in bunkers disguised as burger joints
so we never lose our taste for carbon.
The spores he sells me
are shriveled and taste like solvent
but soon I am in the wicked city
eating ass straight from the wax buffet.
I wish the great lake would return
from its encyclopedia page
and drown all this diabetic neon.
A body so much bigger than my own
it fits neatly inside my head
and there is no memory of the procedure
just a scar in the sky tracing the craft’s ascent
and the bleached shadow it leaves
squatting in the corners of this half life.
Even after the territory
has been wiped off the map
a residue will remain.
A slick mirage threatening
to become the element we need most.
There is no native word for this
but you’ll take it all the same.
Nick Greer is a writer from Berkeley. He publishes Goodnight, Sweet Prince, a digital literary zine that collects essays on side characters in movies and other media, and Lesser Work, a growing archive of marginalia on marginalia. WEB