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The Road Kill Inspector This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

On an early morning
When the night before was nothing but a fest,
Simple, meager feast of pages watermarked "BUKOWSKI" and "COLLETE" and such;
Yes, just an early morning
When the minute before I had gotten into a car
And the minute before I had gotten out of a bed
I had just slipped into
Into slumber and sleep.
A morning--linearity of months
Spanned across and spread with a butter knife--
Less day, please; more hour, please.
Oh, no one listens to my matutinal mumbles anyhow.
On this morning I had a sour taste of gum in my mouth,
Gum gone bad, gum gone good and sweet; at its peak.
I unfolded this little harmony with no accompaniment in my head
Until the stark linearity was broken.

In the center of the hand-dipped ice-cream-hot-cream excuse for a street,
A woman stood.
A jogger.
40 years old on a good day, due to her posture.
50 years old on a bad day, due to her hefty residue of a life that had lined up on her hips.
This woman of 40-50 years of age, this jogger,
She was not jogging at all.
No, no.
She stood in the center of the ice-cream as if to cross the street
And continue the linearity that
We are all so asphyxiated by.
Every morning, but we don't know.
She knew; she knew somehow.
She didn't cross the street and continue the jog to the usual corners and neighbors’ faces.
She just stood there, standing over a dead cat.
The road kill inspector.
The standing jogger.
The woman of 40-50 years of age.
She knew somehow.

Now alone, in that moment, I
Gathered up the materials recommended for ironing.
Popped in a cinema film--a dry wit comedy--
Pressed play, started the iron.
I quickly switched off the lights in the bathroom
And considered closing the door.
I did not close the door.
I just stood there, in my candy shop excuse for a bathroom...
Candy as bathrooms
And watermarks and feasts
And peanut butter as hours
And jelly as days
And streets as ice cream
And a woman with a dead pet.
A woman.
A girl.
Now in that moment,
I knew; I knew that I knew.
I knew somehow.



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