Poetry slider — 07 July 2015


photo by Valeria Ercolano

Your Daily Horoscope


Nik De Dominic

Well, Stargazer, today is your day.
Kind of. Imagine you just moved to a new region
and for the last six months you’d been applying
for jobs. Today every resume you sent in
will be returned. All 8,000 of them.
When one call is done, the phone rings.
You pick it up, call waiting interrupts.
You get a notification on Facebook, then another.
Your Instagram photograph of a dog in tie has a 1,000 new likes.
Cute picture, one writes; want to come work for us?
Your email pings. And then again. And again.
They begin to sense your fraying
and like teenage lovers become incensed:
what, you don’t want to work for us? Well, fine.
No, that’s not what I mean, hold on, one second,
you say. The comments become angry.
Soon they are all at your front door,
pitchforks, torches, gnawing at each other,
throwing out offers, benefits, matching 401ks.
Before the riot, you shutter the windows,
put your phone into airplane mode and go
back to bed. The covers are cool to the touch,
and you dream of riding an endless escalator endlessly.


Your Daily Horoscope

The Chinatown bus today
is unusually crowded.
The morning is a gun
metal gray and if you
look hard enough you
can see the circular striations
of where the hills were machined.
Everyone is on their cellphones
playing Farmville and Bejeweled,
and no one’s volume muted.
The bus is a carnival ride
of self-interest. One guy
literally navel gazes.
You jockey for position
on the upper rail, find
a good spot and open
Facebook. None of the people
you may know you know,
but rather it’s tiny pictures
of all the bus passengers.
When everyone starts singing,
you know all the words.


Your Daily Horoscope

There is a beach. A party. A beach party. You come across this beach party and everyone is in formal wear. Everyone knows your name but you’re unable to place theirs. Each face is a soft memory: the inside of a jacket, the backseat of a car, a meal in New Jersey waiting for a train, a shared key bump in a bathroom in when you were 19, a class in grad school on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a street vendor hawking hot tamales in a neighborhood you left years ago. Maybe. You think. But they all know your name. They have read books on making friends and influencing people and they use your name like punctuation, like breathing, like a metronome. Someone suggests lighting a fire but there is no wood, no kindling. You feel immense guilt for not remembering anyone’s name and they all knowing yours, and since your clothes are not as a fine, up you offer them. They say thank you and strip you naked. your underwear, jeans, and shirt lit in a small pile in the sand. They go up quickly in flames and reduce themselves to soft ash in a blue chemical burn. They look to you hungry when there is nothing left, so you give them your skin and fat. It drips, pops and sizzles into the sand, turning to tiny black dots like fossilized sea creatures in the grit. And your fat and skin are enough to cook off and keep them warm as the sun drops below the blanket of sea. Your memories of those attending the party become clearer and you are almost able to place one of them when your bones are tossed into the flame. They say, thank you, father. Do you remember me? They say, thank you. Do you remember me, son? And you burn until there is nothing left but sand, sea, stars.

nikforjess Nik De Dominic lives and writes in Los Angeles


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