Public Safety Officer


I used to draw pictures of my broken heart

and sell them for a quarter to friends at school.



I don’t remember when my broken heart

started to mend itself, but I think it mended wrong.



I drove golf carts in circles, singing old records out loud

to birds scattered about, and the setting sun watched from

behind resting trees, just to make sure I parked somewhere safe.




I want to write a novel about a public safety officer.


He works at a college, gets drunk, and drives his golf cart

into the woods and never comes back. Then the battery dies.

He strands himself. With nothing but a flashlight, a hat,

a nice shirt, pants that don’t quite fit—

never did—littered about him.


He’d survive off the land, once he got sober.


The first day would be very confusing.

The birds would resent his songs.

The sun would scoff at his wounds.

The earth would claim his tears.

The golf cart would be his home.

And the broken heart he had

would be drawn in the dirt

to become mud

and eventually nothing.


The public safety officer would just live there, alone,

for the rest of his days, and count the stars to the rhythm

of his muffled heartbeat.


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