Previous  Back to Issue Next 

Dustin Luke Nelson

You are Maltese, again.

It happens when you remark on the shape of the only cloud in the sky

You don't really think about the macro movements until the night after you electrocute yourself with the coffee grinder.

You will become an amateur expert on public transit.

The beautiful woman who wakes you on the couch will drop through the hardwood three floors. You will pretend to catch her, tell her that maybe she’s better off on the second floor with a broken leg.

You will be sure the leg would still be fractured without the fall.

You will begin to believe in predestination when you see a calico hit by an ice cream truck playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” at 2am.

Somehow you are on the floor scrubbing salt stains from dress shoes.

You are an expert on public transit, in the desert.

You've won $500,000 in a British lottery. You are the heir to a Nigerian king.

You thought you were Maltese.

You will get a gold-plated crown in the mail with emeralds in perfect ovals sitting on a red velvet cushion inside.

You are Maltese, again.

You find yourself missing people with hair on their legs. Everyone here is waxed smooth like classroom skeletons.

You won the lottery again! What are the odds?

Now is the time to plan for retirement.

You should pass on this moment, save it for later.

What beautiful earrings!

Look at the squirrel! It's in the panda den!

Look at the pandas. They’re in the panda den.

The galleries are covered in oil. When did that happen?

Oh, yes. Quite a statement.

You will write the Great American Novel about a professional mascot, a bear, who flies pigeons in a major metropolitan hub. You will put your public transit expertise to use here.

And here.

You ask, Did you know that Wall Street used to be a wall?

You will think of names for your kids: Harlan, Cadbury, Clementine, Pillsbury.

You will miss ice fishing, and the fear and the power of standing on ten-inch thick sheets of frozen water.

You are an expert on public transit, a doctor of movements.

There are marquees lining your eyes. None of them say your name.

You will move back upstairs. The beautiful woman, three floors below, will say your name.

You might be into street art, you aren't sure yet.

Quick blow the whistle. The train is coming. This desert wind will tear our flesh if we miss the train.

We will miss the moment when the lonely cloud is tricked into a brief moment of revelry at the sight of smoke plumes rising from the departing train.

You are an expert of public transit. A doctor of movements.

Dustin Luke Nelson is a founding editor of InDigest. He's a 2012 National Poetry Series Finalist and has most recently had work in Greying Ghost Pamphlet Series, Opium, METRO Twin Cities, and Scud. He's been a writer and producer for Radio Happy Hour and Geocachers. He lives in Astoria and can be found at blogsareaboutego.blogspot.com.