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June 15, 2016 | Poetry

SEARCHING FOR PETCO

Skylar Moore

SEARCHING FOR PETCO photo

 

For three days, I drive the city in search of PetCo. Day one, I tell myself that PetCo will be easy
to find. I don't find PetCo. Day two, I use the GPS, but despite reading the directions
before embarking, I immediately take wrong turn after wrong turn so naturally it's as if
it's a biological need, like sex or water, to lose myself.

After two hours, I've found rivers and Laundromats and stores of all kinds, but none
of them are PetCo. I return home, dejected. Day three, I arm myself with machete
and research and I prepare myself for the bush work. The veins in the city's palms
will lure me from the bones into the deep, bloody tissue. I'm a pioneer re-charting

the Mississippi frontier; I'm DaVinci tickling tendons in corpses, catologing how the creek joins the river,
how the strip mall scaffolds the apartment complex. I'm a nursery rhyme, ringing, the Jersey Ridgebone
is connected to the Utica Ridgebone, and the bones are a body in which a million people respire, inspire,
expire, depending on their mood that day. I'm in this city's lungs, not at PetCo. I'm in its stomach, and I
realize all of us were once pioneers in stomachs or bladders, searching for PetCo. I'm in the heart now,
where the cars are busiest. I spiral around PetCo, I know, but PetCo eludes.

For just a jog, a street named Brady is called Welcome Way. I have a cousin Welcome.
Welcome Normal Lay, she's named. That's not a diversion, but a reminder to stay
focused, writes Matt Hart in his Sermons. It's so easy to get lost, looking for PetCo. 
Especially when lost, looking for PetCo. If in doubt, take Division, or Locust, or keep going
toward the river, and at the river, start again.

 

 

image: Aaron Burch


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