Puncture Wound

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Someone left these ragged clothes under the bench

next to this broken bottle and pair of shoes. I can’t see

any signs of struggle but I know the person is dead.

In June they dredged the lake and found three corpses.

I imagine them like the sugar in the bottom of my coffee.

The sunlight tastes like cut grass and barbeque chicken

but it hardly trickles through the smog. I’m bleeding inside

and I don’t know why. I wear my skin like a bad joke—

like a sock with holes. It’s sunny in Los Angeles

and I’ve woken up for the past sixty-eight days hoping

to be hit by a bus, crushed under ceiling tiles, shot

in the eye. Jeans, socks, and a button-up shirt.

Fingerless gloves. Once I caught my hand on a hook

and had to push it all the way through to clip off the end.

When I die I hope no one notices for a while. I will hide.

I don’t remember the last time I felt a heartbeat

come from somewhere other than behind my eyes.

I think blood tastes like sunshine.

I think the city should be put to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Aaron Fruth

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About Author

Jackson Burgess studies Creative Writing and Narrative Studies at the University of Southern California. He also tutors at LA Southwest College and edits for Red Sky: A Literary Journal and Fractal Literary Magazine. He's recently placed writing in Circa Review, Vector Press, Phantom Kangaroo, Rufous City Review, and elsewhere.

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