Red Light Green Light
by Jason Bredle
A sudden explosion of chaos, hands smashing
a series of secret codes into a keypad
to a soundtrack of ear-bursting beeps
with screaming babies and barking dogs,
at least more so than an effective summons
of the polis during a time of critical duress.
Fuck the polis.
What did you think we’d say?
That you called?
That you left two messages
while we were out tanning
and playing volleyball?
Or did you think we’d tell the truth:
That we’ve been cursed
to remember things that happened years ago
as if they happened yesterday,
as if we have static in our ears
but received a manicure and pedicure instead?
We don’t like it.
Before bedtime, because we’re not allowed
to look at ourselves in the mirror
due to a stipulation of the restraining order
we have against ourselves,
we practice our acceptance speech
to our reflection in the toilet:
“Like nudity on the south pole,” we say,
“I’m an electric, backwards cat, a human ax
who slices through air and trees. I understand
when to declare myself King Poem,
and now is not the time. Tonight
has been so magical. Thank you to my agent,