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This ends (tonight

By Thomas Mixon

October’s sky is so plump with undelineated stars I do everything I can to keep my eyes Earth-bound, which is difficult since the hills on the turnpike crest without warning, the trillion distant suns begging to be seen, tempting my eyes upward instead of left and right, where I should be looking, where the GPS (had it not failed) should be tracing a glowing line to First Unitarian, the side streets sporadic, on sign posts bent for some reason (and only two rhymes: Aquarius Road on the right, then Sagittarius, after that, then the rest (I wonder had I never overheard you talk about astrology, if we would have ever spoken, of course I knew you, of you, from the punk shows (had been yelled at for favoring the volume of your vocals at the expense of everything else, when your band showed up and I was on the mixer) we both couldn’t keep away from even though we were sick of that crowd, those same tired chords (but what else was there (save for hanging out in the parking lots of the three fucking Market Basket grocery stores on the same fucking stretch of road, the first of which I’ve just passed, the second coming up, and thank god the last one is beyond the church, because if I had to see all three tonight I don’t think I’d be able to keep my word, Sydney, despite both of us promising that, no matter what, we’d stop each other’s wedding, no matter how far into the future, no matter how many years had passed since we last spoke) in Billerica) from the same shitty speakers and sound system at the Boys & Girls Club, but it wasn’t until I heard your bullshit about moon signs that I summoned the guts to tell you off (I wonder had I saddled up and said how deep your lyrics were, how cool, if you would have placed me in your mental pile of Sydney sycophants, just another guy trying to make the only female punk singer in our little hamlame/shamlet of New England feel special) and say you were wrong, that it didn’t matter what goddamn day or month we were born in, that nothing’s ever pre-decided) of the zodiac) and of varying heights, so that I don’t know where to look, Sydney, everything is upside down, I swear tonight the Milky Way’s below me, and what’s above are echoes from the firecrackers that we once set off under the grocery’s red awning, which ended badly (for the store, for the seagulls in the parking lot, for all our stupid vows) just like driving to you now is dumb, just like the decades that we haven’t talked are sparkling with cold unknowns, distant, magnetic) with a pledge fulfilled, but my soul still empty.

Thomas Mixon has fiction and poetry in Barren Magazine, Wrath-Bearing Tree, Rogue Agent, and elsewhere.

Art by Jay Baker, an artist from Colorado living in Oregon, by way of New Mexico; he records music as Tom Foe.


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