about the author

Neal Kitterlin lives with his wife and child in Matteson, Illinois. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in [PANK], HOUSEFIRE, NAP, Red Lightbulbs, and other places. His e-chap, Decisions, is currently available from Love Symbol Press. Find him on Twitter @NealKitterlin or at infinitegestures.tumblr.com.

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Devil Town

Neal Kitterlin

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There is a bruise on the edge of town
I visit as my heart approaches dawn.

Type its name into a search engine
and crumple at the possibilities.

My chair grows with every click
until my feet dangle in trepidation.

Wash off filmy membranes separating utopias
from black market daisy chains, orchids circling

drains. Hear a whispering from damaged
tissue and try on maiden names. Debate

the meaning of the word loss as it applies
to ghost towns. Receive notifications

my lovers are on hold at the library, even the
one whose nipples smell faintly of butter.

Activate Cold War mail drops in childhood
bedrooms, examine riddles like augurs.

Luxuriate in the frustrated joy of escaping
through locked doors in fallen empires.

Generate street maps, 3-D photo views of this
town falling asleep with the lights on. Plants thrive

under railroad tracks. Glimpse sunsets
that could only happen on the ape planet.

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