An asshole is an asshole but I love a first sentence. The thing is there isn’t much of one—it’s just what you believe in from before you knew it to what exists past us. I’m watching Jimmy. I’m watching myself cross my legs. I am somewhere in the midst of a morning. I’m watching no one. I’m crossing nothing. The rest of the sentence begins when you shut the help off.
25,000 To 30,000 Black Bears
I am a new silence in a new chair to the right of another new chair. The new second sentence is one of the windows in this new place, in our new place, is open. Our new city is still our city—our cries aren’t new, our laughs & hopes & dreams & whatever the fuck we’re saying now isn’t new, either. If you’re going to ask about the title, you’re not new & what’s new about being new in the first place?
Mother Of Four
I’m the first officer with a pair of hearts. I’m the governor of my dearly departed bullshit. I’m sitting, thinking, attempting to look up a jump in the blood. The fourth sentence reminds me of nothing—not me, not you, not anyone we’d like to be. We’re quiet, we read, we work.
I Saw Evelyn Today
I’m between a TV tray of cans & my preemptive dreams—Omar is being Omar. The second sentence is the fourth floor with no one but an Abby & you owe me a dollar. I win an umbrella & it starts raining. I don’t believe it, but I ask, & there are plenty of decisive opinions. I can’t look outside until I leave, & I’m on my way, because it’s been a long life. My wife & I like to laugh. We’re going to see my parents for a week. Love is like this: the joke is we both work here.
If Animal Trapped Call 410–844-6286
We order three pizzas & a salad, we wait for delivery, & then we bring it over. We cross the street, between traffic, with three white boxes & one medium brown box. We see my father, waving for us to come through a gate that skips the lobby for the elevators. The four of us sit, talk, eat, & drink. My mother is beautiful. We say goodbye quickly & quietly. We wait, we wait, we cross the street once there are a few less lights coming ahead.
Parker Tettleton is a vegan Leo living in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of This Is A City (Ravenna Press, 2020), Please Quiet (Ravenna Press, 2018), Ours Mine Yours (Pitymilk Press, 2014), Greens (Thunderclap Press, 2012), & Same Opposite (Thunderclap Press, 2010). More work & information is here.