They paint some white women black, turn them into tables, paint other white women brown for telephones. They say they don’t see color. Synthesizers must be played with rubber gloves. They dress you in a hooded robe, show you what you think is a miniature of your city. Even the sculptures are fitted for sunglasses. The bases the space aliens attack in video games look like your city, your miniaturized city. What you think is the throb of bass of drums is the sound of your pixelated city falling square by square. They tell you it’s OK; your eyeglasses are just too thick. A man will give you a ride home on a Prophet-5, show you the lights of your darkened city. You’re sure these must be correct, these lights that compete with what can only be sleep.
I Wish My Skin Could Stand the Pace
Note: Title is a lyric from “Living in the Plastic Age” by The Buggles (#16 on UK Singles Chart, 1980).
Daniel Shapiro is the author of How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside press, 2013), a collection of celebrity prose poems. His recent work has appeared in Hermeneutic Chaos, Rogue Agent, Maudlin House, Unbroken and elsewhere. He is a special education teacher who lives in Pittsburgh.