portion of the artwork for E. Martin Pedersen's poetry

Am I breathing gas?
E. Martin Pedersen

As our bus rolls down the street on the right there’s a terribly long connected block of three story           houses and in the big plate glass window of the second story of each house there’s a black man,
          a young black man, in each window looking down on our road and I look up at the mountain
          off to the left in the distance; I ask the others of course what it could mean—
          we’ve been given an assignment
to go sleep on that mountain
follow the road to the top
then a green storm of light green lightning and green clouds of light on the silent mountain top eerie
          us out
I say we pull into a closed gas station and go ask an open grocer untroubled who explains the green
          light every night—
change of plans
we pull into the closed car wash
for safety and curious lustity
as she sits on my lap I raise her dress and rub my hands up and down her legs, she wants to know
          what are you doing

we go to the Shakespeare bookstore in the side door to the back room of discount books,
the marriage is celebrated, but I stay after and buy lots of very important books
we don’t go up on the mountain but stay in town wondering that no one knows—the green mist of
          apathy—the press doesn’t care enough to write the story, I try but can’t
I even begin going up on the mountain but find nothing there except the green lights from a           different angle

and the sewer backs up in our shack and tons of junk pass by on a conveyor belt,
I take some curios and go back to my hiker friends and my lover to propose going up on
          the mountain with no enthusiasm or conviction left
my hair is uncontrollable
white pigeons peck at the dirt
one boot lace is untied

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 43 | Spring 2014