Stephen Bubenheim, 131 TESS
Wake up. Hard bed and bones creak.
Walk to the fridge; a dead lizard inside.
How’d you manage that?
Sugary powdered not-coffee.
Ants in the water heater. Ants on my hand.
At school they smile-scream and climb on
wooden bulks barnacled with bolts and algae.
They curse, they laugh—kick and hug—
and when the day’s up, roll out.
Ten-year-olds driving death machines.
I think they’re learning, but it’s hard to tell;
like some blurry thing ambling on-wards
because we tell it to.
Thrumming fan; still-hard bed.
Rippled shapes flash across the mosquito net.
This is Stephen’s first solo article, but get a glimpse into his character and writing where he is featured in Never Thought I’d Be Into ___ Until I Joined the Peace Corps.