I’m soft-spoken in the pharmacy as the girl behind the counter plays with her hair
and Johnny smokes my Newport outside—
the whole place is generic Lexapro and coffee-stained tile,
white coats and lighter fluid smiles. I imagine taking the pharmacist home,
peeling off her socks with my teeth, licking the hairs down her spine.
Her name is Annabel because I don’t know anyone with that name. She likes
mimosas and walking through puddles, especially in the evening,
when lazy shades of night douse the sky. When I get home and take my pills,
the news is on and the top story is another body found in the lake.
The newscaster is pretty but I can’t look at her.
She wears too much make-up, she clips her Rs and Gs, she has
all the right words but nothing new to say.
Jackson Burgess studies at the University of Southern California, where he is Editor in Chief of Fractal Literary Magazine. Jackson has placed work in The Monarch Review, Gravel, Vayavya, Tin House Flash Fridays, and elsewhere, and has received fellowships from USC. He leads a poetry workshop on Skid Row and lives at jacksonburgess.com.