Private Contractors in Public Bathrooms by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Private Contractors in Public Bathrooms

I have behaved terribly,
pulled fingernails for some of
the best sadists in the land

rubbed my eyes of many hours
of crusted sleep
so the carnage could continue

and the cable splicers are just gene splicers
on a personal level

you get to know them
and spend the rest of your life
trying to forget what they
have done

what I have done

the cruelty we dole out
like babies’ pablum
on a daily
basis

our words
so the knife throwers
never run out

and sitting up in bed this morning
I looked at the lines on my hands
and thought of traffic

nothing webbed or satanic
like little Joey Stalin
in lifts

the way he was deemed unfit
for war, but ended up killing more people
than anyone else in history

that is an over achiever right there:
if only more children were less like children
and more like Stalin

well, that would fix everything,
really take the trout out of fishing

Richard Brautigan writing
miniature scandals into all of
his poems

a pitted olive for each martini

private contractors
in public bathrooms
I hear the swooning irony
legions now

let off the leash
and allowed to dry hump
prosthetic legs out of their
only walking

and that ammonia smell
you get from crime
scene stairwells

tinted windows
like sunglasses for
cars

I feel I am leaving the certainly
of myself
and becoming a little bit
of everything

not enough for anyone to notice
say, the way you do when the traffic
light changes

things are bone spur
incremental

hardly a happening
at all

but changes are coming

I feel it
all the time.

Ryan Quinn FlanaganRyan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian born author presently residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada. His work has been published both in print and online in such places as The New York Quarterly, Windsor Review, Vallum, The Antigonish Review, CV2, Horror Sleaze Trash, Evergreen Review, Your One Phone Call and In Between Hangovers.

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