Bonus Cut Poetry: “vodka slushies” By Justin Cook

This is the 14th installment of Bonus Cut Poetry, a new series that features original poems by Bonus Cut staff, artists and YOU! In this series, our mission is to bring people together in poetry, share stories and display wonderful artistic pieces. If you would like to have your poems in the next Bonus Cut Poetry installment, just email us at bonuscut@gmail.com

Our 14th installment features Bonus Cut’s own Justin Cook.

vodka slushies
By: Justin Cook

this is where the train cut through—
we used to throw rocks at it passing,
a sharp percussion
against the roar of her iron lungs.
we wrapped wool around barbed wire
fences and broke into
abandoned factories, scaling walls
to the roof, overlooking our town,
picking scabs from cigarette burns.

guided by traffic lights
blinking red, we knocked on doors
and ran away; laughing, the wind
needled our tearing eyes. the cadence
of car alarms & police sirens
in the distance. we ran so far we puked.

navigating the maze of suburbs,
circling the same roads: searching
for something in our headlights.
windows tinted. we explored
a dimly lit church—a colony of bats
greeted us. we ran at first,
circled back to spray paint the walls
and burn a ouija board.

we stumbled to elementary schools, swinging
on monkey bars; merry-go-round
spinning faster and faster,
each person tugging, pushing
pulling, the sky blurring—
i jumped off, smoked
to calm my stomach, burning
like gasoline: blowing concentric grey halos.

flicking cigarettes—sparks
down the highway. we drove out
to the transmission towers, watching dust collect
in brake lights. cut through a wooded path,
arrived to the chatter of baby birds
& fire flies: twilight.
clouds filling with lightning. we climbed
a metal lattice, trying to reach
the blinking red light at its apex.

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