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OMEGA | Bud Smith
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Bud Smith

11 Jul Bud Smith



last night I took a screwdriver and opened up
the crack in the wall
found a dial to an iron safe, spun it for an hour
trying all y’all’s birthdays

this new home is teal and pink

this new home has hardwood floors that came from the same forest as the arc of the covenant

this new house has two microwaves, one for bacon
the other just to look pretty

my wife stands naked in the living room trying to figure out where the beeping is coming from

she points at a different crack in a different ceiling, “I think they plastered over the bomb detector”

I drag the ladder out from under the velvet couch

the other day we picked up the phone and called the
Chinese food place farther down the street and told them we currently have an alliance with the Chinese food place closer to us on the street but in our last order we found sorrow in their egg rolls and the fortune cookies were insults, here’s what her three said:

Your Mother is Fat and Soon You Will Be Too

Fate is Not Just a Town In Texas

The Cherry Blossom Tree Outside Your Window is Waiting For The Perfect Window

here’s what I do:
knock three times on the iron safe, say your prayers, drink your joy for breakfast

I try your social security number but the iron safe doesn’t love you like I love you

this new house has junk drawers, empty and sobbing, hoping you’ll fall apart and fill them up

we open all the cabinets searching out this beeping
nine volt batteries in our mouths
luck tucked up each shirt sleeve

all my dreams are of unearthing secret caverns filled to capacity with dying batteries and plastic hate

later, I shower twice, once to get the dirt off and once more to think about magic numbers

the safe probably has the mortgage payment
the safe probably has the city tax and the state tax and even more
the safe probably has the combination to the safe written on an ancient scroll, a thousand years older than the safe, the house, the street, the cherry blossom tree, both rival Chinese food restaurants

your mother wants to come and visit but she wants us to have a priest kiss each wall first

I take off your pants and kiss you instead and no she can’t ever come here this house is a den for lucifer

the days go buy, I dust and take the trash to the trash room
you push the plunger down in the coffee maker
and there’s no such thing as utter silence
this close to the fire station
but at least they’ll get here quick

at the farthest counter I drop a gold coin into the “Help A Sick Pet Jar” and the clerk wants to know where did I get that?

I tell him, “The combination was the number of blossoms on the limb divided by the beeps per hour, multiplied by my father’s father’s birthday.”

he gives us three cans of ginger ale, house mustard, a free calendar
and a 30 gallon garbage bag filled with wonton noodle
final fortune:

Do Not Piss In the Shower If You Own the Shower

Life happens downhill.


Bud Smith’s books are I’m From Electric Peak, F250, Calm Face, and others. His writing has been at Hobart, Smokelong, The Rumpus and Wigleaf. He runs Unknown Press, works heavy construction, and lives in Jersey City, NJ.

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