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In The Gutter

By , Cinnaminson, NJ
I woke up and the time was the same as it’s always been for the past 42 days.
The same tiny fluorescent lights buzzing behind the glass, the lines fuzzy on the edges and cozy within, the same shape of the day and the same taunting curve of the box that sits so close to my face and watches me sleep, knowing the way I breathe like the back of its hand if it had any.
Once I heard a homeless man say he was the happiest in the world because he didn’t have any responsibility. The clothes who protected him were his only friends. The zippers and buttons and seams of short, fat fabric and the elastic of his socks that was too clingy before but now gives his ankles some unwanted space told him everything he ever needed to know. Their voices were the only he listened to and the way his sleeve stuck to his forearm always told him to turn right. I imagined him one night whispering back to them, sitting in the gutter with everything else in this life, at home. I saw him dead the next day.
I woke up and the time was the same as it’s always been for the past 42 days.
The dust motes in the air are illuminated in the same exact way. My sheet touch me in the same exact way. I am the same and I am unoriginal and I am a product of the nights in which I think the same things and believe the same things and I then wake up in the same way.
Fluorescent lights tell me this and I can’t help but to trust them.
And I’ll trust them until someone who doesn’t know my name finds me dead in the gutter.





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