We voted | Michael Dickel

An uproarious meme combined a diamond mine with an ankle through the fractured lens of Trump’s broken glasses, mangoes spilling out of his suitcase as he tried to make his getaway through the lobby to the broken carousel that would take him round and round the pomegranates, which have broken open, spilling illusory seeds over petunia beds—wilted legumes hang from the candelabra above his head as he goes round and round.

Bubbles from mechanical bears floated in the air onto a sunhat adrift in the windy afternoon, fertilized and well-watered green grass covering the soil, sand, and peat mixed into the perennial political-party beds—bedroom drug-parties launching sandstone in a perilous trajectory arcing over the hummingbird, which drops rubies for a bread-crumb trail back to the sanity we all left behind. 

We voted, thought the woman with a beard, with full-throated existential screams, as late-capitalism collapsed around us in the swirling out-of-control global conflict not yet called World War III. 

The blue planet, painted red with bloodshed and black with extinction, spins into the banks, bounces out and hits the red planet into the corner pocket. Venus remains untouched. The dark dwarf somersaults around the table in the bar, his map tattoos glowing.

Stragglers watch the game of eight ball with indifference. The bartender begins to applaud, laughing at the numerology of the square-root of negative one. All numbers are imaginary. Especially, the bookkeepers’ numbers imagine their own private nightmares.


The toad drops her off the asteroid somewhere over the rainbow, not so far away, and she floats home across the gully again, as in the beginning, the mist rising from the hot earth, scorched and volcanic in the aftermath of abstract symbolism.

Clock towers folded over like candles in a heat wave, granite shivered until it crumbled, steel puddled around melted glass—this once-and-future landscape unfolds into origami swan songs below, while we all debate the value of paper-ash dust, she thinks.

She lands gently in memories, her only reality, these bits of energy vibrating between imaginary numbers and entangled light, no more than a ghost of an apostrophe in some physicist’s escaping theories, as she makes love with an amphibious poet in the watery shadow of Standing Rock.

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