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Hyena

 

HYENA

 

The Adult Shop and the Assembly

of God are duking it out on the

highway. The former is dressed as a

dominatrix; she pops a hip and

flicks her whip at the grayscale

crying woman who has charged out

of the billboard opposite hers. A

LIFETIME OF REGRETS, she

mouths, rubbing an invisible belly

where a baby might have been,

sweeping the dominatrix aside with

her stream of guilt. A car alarm

sounds as the dominatrix lands and

shatters its windshield. She snarls,

leaps to her feet, unzips shiny black

leather to expose a man with a

heavily-veined penis the size of a

tree-trunk. He crawls out of the zip

in her pants, red-faced and musty

from the dearth of fresh air,

cradling his enormous      

didgeridoo. Not to be one-upped,

the greyscale woman unbuttons her

pants and reveals a burning bush:   

it speaks with the authority of God

and a thousand angels, commanding

the Adult Shop billboard to fuck

her, fuck her hard. Hours later a

hyena wanders out of a wormhole

and comes upon the wreckage. Cars

litter the highway, some intact,

others crushed beyond repair. A

hubcap rolls by with a dismal

squeak and winks at the hyena, who

is supposed to laugh, but can’t

remember how. The Adult Shop

and the Assembly of God have

returned to their billboards, where

they are again disguised as a

dominatrix and a greyscale woman.

Everything else is in ruins.        

They wink and cry at nothing. The

hubcap rolls on. In Africa, a family

of hyenas laughs and laughs and

laughs. The laughter goes on so

long it begins to sound like a

mistake, as though sheeted

listenings pulled back to reveal a

cosmic mouth grinding faster than

before, whatever glistening thing

that next snags our attention its

teeth, grinding, forever grinding—

 

 

 

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A version of this poem was published by This Dark Matter.