Giving Directions
Dan Nowak

Turn left onto Monroe,
there will be a church
on your left. I spent
eight years stuck in their
uniform pants. Mass
was mandatory even if
there wasn’t enough faith
for me. Keep going and
watch for the Chinese
buffet that’s replaced
the lesbian bar. That strip
mall is full of dying arts
in this town. A coffee
shop without trademarks
and a jewelry store that
turns you green in the shower.
At Applebee’s turn head right.
You’ll go past the hospital
I stayed in last summer
with chest pains. My muscles
ripped off my ribs. Turns out
I was too stressed. I drink more
now. The next light will be it.
There’s a Christian bookstore
where an old lover works. He’d
fill me with his spirit. Across
from there is the tattoo place
I decorated myself at. Their work
is the black parrot on my white
back. The less sun I get
the more impressive it is. Understand?

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