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you won't notice when i'm gone

It was grey all summer long. The fog expired but never went away. The days tasted like aluminum. I wandered the city and seldom saw another face. I carried the hunting rifle wound secure with duct tape. I sat at discontinued bus stops and drank wine and read from my collection of Harold Pinter plays. My neck was stiff beneath the weight of headaches.

The nights drew low, muddy clouds over the sodium security lights at the military research installation. I monitored them from the darkness of the hillside. I listened to garbled speech of shortwave conversations in my headphones. I peered through binoculars and tracked their movements across the tarmac. I spoke to my father's absence and pleaded for guidance. I learned a long time ago that you get nothing but the weight of hours. So much of life was a digging through the hours to uncover a clean exhaustion I could call my own.

There was always sleep waiting to cushion every fall. Muddy clouds soundproofed the region. I slept under a leaky roof. The first drops of rain carried scent and memory of attics and recorded the vistas of rooftops.

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