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March 17, 2016 Poetry

Autocomplete

H.R. Webster

Autocomplete photo

Autocomplete

I can’t stop watching teenage boys eat shit at the skate park.
It gives me real pleasure.

I imagine pulling the stitched pennies of scabs
from their shoulders and knees. A man

barks at me like a dog from the window of his car.
A man shouts I want to fuck you in the –

I lost the last word to the rattling lung
of parking lot’s sea. I think it was ass.

It could have been mouth.
The computer can’t stop suggesting yours—

truly. There are only so many combinations
of words. I can’t stop reading

articles about the woman who pushed her dead
toddler on a swing for a full night

and day. My mother wouldn’t have.
Wouldn’t have done that I mean.

So few of us are original in our disorder.
The computer can’t stop suggesting To Whom—

It May Concern. Suggests I might be hurting
my eyes, staring at a screen so long.

It might have been pussy, but that seems
unlikely. I imagine pulling the boys’ torn

white t-shirts over their heads. They aren’t hurt, not really.
Not badly. They don’t smell good, that’s ok. I run

them hot water.  I test it with my wrist—my fingers
too practiced at pain to tell me when things are too much.

The computer can’t stop suggesting I sell someone
my eggs. Girls like you can make big money.

It knows my height because I bought
those jeans, the chimney fire of my marriage,

my student loan debt, breast size.
It must know I am not well, inside, that I have

spent hours reading about the woman
who drove the wrong way down the Taconic Parkway

with a car full of kids. The abscess
in her mouth, the gut’s thrum of clear liquor. People

get pissed when they talk about Diane.
I lick every word clean. Still the computer

wants my eggs, the ugly teeming of my
innards. A man sends me a message online:

I want to cum on your
face/tits/ass. Strangers know something

the computer doesn’t, should have guessed.
There are only so many kinds of girl I am

permitted to be. It is hard not to imagine
a child slinkying down my steep wooden stairs.

The way each thump of the body downward
is inevitable, but still makes my face break

just slightly, the smoke sucked
back into the red hole of my mouth.

I will be at the bottom. I will be watching.
Watching is what I know how to do.

 

image: Aaron Burch


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