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Lauren McCollum


My wallet was stolen, my identity with it.

Multi-ocular buildings and sidewalks turned away

from the filching. How hard-nosed

this freeze of street muck,

how gray the granite air. I am 22 today,


although verifiability has skipped the scene

much like those ducky twos

that sail at a clip backwards

in time foreseeing and fleeing the day science

overcomes mortality. The numbers are meanest


where divination is concerned; in their cards we learn

to live and live, and down their graphpaper timelines

we stomp like giants, our hearts

intricate fuseboxes,

our brains fortified circuitries, outfitted with spines


and the juice to keep burning even once that soul thing

gasps and gurgles something solemn before diffusing

from disease or just malaise…

Look at me. Look at me.

I’ve lost the context critical. I’ve had to cancel


everything to play the schizotypal dissident

to Corporate Colossus. As if the birthday happened

to my driver’s license

and not me. Slick of plastic

in my likeness made, count your numbers and hold them close.

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