The Boiler

Sally Burnette

VIEW. MAGIC MOUNTAIN, VALENCIA, CALIFORNIA
         Joe Deal, 1977

what you can’t readily see:
a man in a white shirt on the right
underneath the roller coaster’s main drop
facing away from the camera
fucking someone wearing
a barbie head ball gag


WE’RE REALLY HAPPY. OUR KIDS ARE HEALTHY, WE EAT GOOD FOOD AND WE HAVE A REALLY NICE HOME.

         Bill Owens, 1972

i meant to say cats not kids
we only have the one
kid i mean we have twenty
cats & they’re all in great shape
i worry about the kid though
he always makes this fist
& only eats creamed corn
he’s quiet never cries or blinks
it’s honestly unsettling but
look at those eyes it’s not so bad
i guess would you like a grape
i’m just kidding these are fake
but don’t they look so real
don’t you want to feel them
in your mouth don’t you want to
taste the dust sometimes i stand
at that window facing the field
of electric pylons & pretend
i’m in some kind of sci-fi movie
i hear ice clinking
feel the sweat from jim’s
old fashioned glass soaking
skin through my sweater
i hold my breath & brace myself
& one of the cats starts hacking
& he tells me clean the puke
before it stains the carpet & i do
the kid watches from the counter
never cries did i tell you that already
we’re so lucky
really happy

 


Sally Burnette was born in North Carolina but now lives in Boston. Their poetry has appeared/is forthcoming in Reality Beach, BOAAT, Winter Tangerine, Nat. Brut, and others.