Gritty Details

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tonight's Poet Corner: A Simple Vandal

A Simple Vandal
by Belinda Roddie

I spray paint the walls when
the adrenaline feels like acid
in my veins. I can say anything
on the concrete - scrawl any motto
or prayer or question on my mind
with an aerosol can - and as long
as I don't hear the sirens, my message
leaves an anonymous stain on the side
of the building. Of course, sometimes

city workers wash off my words in a
matter of days, maybe hours. Everything
is temporary, even your ability to speak
your mind. Or write it in vapor so it
lingers just long enough that you can
convey your thoughts without facing any
of the consequences. Tonight, I went to

the abandoned community house and
tattooed it with my own fears and irrational
desires. I drew a silhouette of a president
with bad hair and an even worse personality.
Somehow, a strange anxiety settled in my head:
That he would swoop down like the vindictive
vulture he is and shred me up with his talons.
Then I remembered that even he's too petty,
and his attention span too short, to keep me in
his tiny grip for long. Once the hot rush of

hormones subsides and my body cools down,
I head back to my place with my tools tucked
safely away in a nondescript black book bag.
I have a beer or two with my mother, who once
painted murals for the city. And when I finally
fall asleep, I dream of being anywhere but here.

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