“The Last Eighty-One Seconds,” by David Miller

Image by Nick Alvarado via freeimages.com

Pudgy pre-acnoid twelve-year-old.
First rock vinyl jacket. Stares at final
I’d love to turn you on
without full stop or comma, printed
black on red as blank after on
writhes in violins growling low on.
Green tornado air. Feral orchestra
rises in wall-splinter funnel,
roof-backbreak boat-hurling twister.
Vacuums the wisecrack kid’s breath.
Strings’ nightmare elevator
ruptures the hundredth story
hangs him in space of

one gasp and jump

Three cast-iron pianos shatter the pavement.
Gates slam bare to a white light screen
thrust around him by E major monolith.
This kid with oily sidepart haircut,
dimple-plague, flab-topped swim trunks
wants to shove his skull into the living room
turntable. Jittery boyhead
vacated to mist
as forty seconds fade.

He jumps hundreds of times.
Five times twelve years
and still the gates explode.



David P. Miller’s chapbook, The Afterimages, was published by Červená Barva Press. His poems have recently appeared in Meat for Tea, riverbabble, Nixes Mate Review, Naugatuck River Review, and HedgeApple, among others. His poem “Kneeling Woman and Dog,” first published in Meat for Tea, was included in the 2015 edition of Best Indie Lit New England. With a background in experimental theater before turning to poetry, David was a member of the multidisciplinary Mobius Artists Group of Boston for 25 years. He was a librarian at Curry College in Milton, Mass., a position from which he retired in June 2018.