Heidi Broadhead

Till Human Voices Wake Us, and We Drown*
                                                                                                         (a dream)
Black clouds hover the soccer field. Lightning
warnings can't deter the goal--
The corporate team is six to two, by chance.  Must
win the game to succeed, their chants
haunt the field. I hide inside
a slate gray Oldsmobile
to survive... wake up in my new home,
a mangled car, crushed
on impact in the apparent wreck. My pet,
half cat, half weasel,
pulls sinews of the forsaken mouse
through his razor teeth. He has come
for dinner and conversation--
the effects of the Apocalypse on the economy,
the rising crime rate and those bastard criminals,
Where are we going now? What are our
long term goals?--a lick of blood
falls from his mouth to the grassy floor...     I wake again
fifty or fifty-five. Balding. Male. Prufrock,
you fat pig. Slip out of the polyurethane sleeping bag
cross the jutting waves of dried lava
where I once carefully mowed the lawn.
The roommate is dead; his
18 year old girlfriend sits with her brain axe-spread. He
merged his face with the typewriter at the end,
no flies to feed on the empty skull.
His right fingernail, still growing, rests on "H":
Above all things, we must seek to understand why
we are living on this earth...
I break from my reading to notice
denim men with hard hats and two by fours.
I  try to wave but
paralysis is cunning. Through my fear
into day, they fade
and disappear.

*T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Copyright 1999, Heidi Broadhead

Heidi Broadhead eats and writes in Seattle, Washington. She is currently a student in the UW Extension Writing Certificate Program and has been the featured reader at Wit's End and the Seattle Public Library. Her obsessions include alcohol, cubical opression and Mormon housewives.

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