In an Alternate Universe

Steve Klepetar


you sit at the same desk, same dust
gathered by the wall, but here you
weep into your tea like a broken-
hearted teen. But it’s not tea. You
taste some awful kind of schnapps,
flavor of strong mouthwash and
Peppermint Patties melted in your
mug, the one that reads “Those
who can teach; those who can’t go
into some less significant line of work”
and you aren’t crying after all but
laughing so hard your poor stomach
muscles cramp up from effort, a fine
picture window open to dead birds
spiked on the sill, the world just
barely green in late September
afternoon. Yes, it’s Hobbit Day
again, September 22 and you’ve
had Second Breakfast. Now, after
a nap, the only thing you want is
mushrooms and pipe weed. Hair
sprouts from your palms and a silver
road unspools out into the dark forest
beyond all smells of home, outside
the wooden circle of your hungry door.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790