It’s a nice neighborhood, decent, down home, pure. New cars in driveways, washed, waxed, lawns cut fresh. You can smell mothers sweating in kitchens, flour on they hands, fixing up something good. Kids riding bikes, shooting hoops, walking barefoot back from a crick, lace dresses, skipping rope. It’s sunset, slugging rotgut whiskey from my bottle on a hill, looking down. Forth of July, officer. God bless.
After the streetlights flicker our again. Their voices, across fences, over walls, whispers, conspiratorial. They’re talking about you. Lingering in groups in the street, staring into your dark yard, at windows, blinds half drawn, flashlights, candles, lanterns lit, just beyond your sight. They know what’s happening, they all know, it’s a conspiracy. Thumb the safety back, raise, aim, silent, soft, like a prayer. Love thy neighbor.
At three am, it plays the National Anthem. Its station tunes. Nobody touches its knobs, nobody twists its rabbit ears to catch its ragged signal. The national anthem plays, reminds remain watchful, loyal, true, banner yet wave, the countdown rolls, God Bless America, a holding pattern occupies the screen, then a low throb of plastic music. Our fallout living room empty, no one left to watch.
They tear through the screen door rapid six at once all ricocheting thick walls of screams behind you space becomes glass surfaces reflecting shattering in rapid pain sheets so when you get to the door a hard black peal of rubber is running away like burned atmospheres faraway a motor gunning it out of the parking lot and there is no one left to answer why.
Genelle Chaconas is nonbinary gendered, queer, an abuse survivor, has mood disorders, and feels proud. They earned a BA in Creative Writing from CSUS in 2009, an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University in 2015, and 50k of debt. They never learned to ‘photograph’ but take photos. They’ve been published lots but don’t namedrop. Their chapbooks include Fallout Saints and Dirty Pictures (little m press, 2011) and Yet Wave (the Lune, 2017). They serve as head editor for HockSpitSlurp Literary Magazine. They enjoy scifi and gangster flix, drone/noise/industrial music, and long walks off short piers.