scar tissue

step out the door
halfway around the world

they paint the ground in red
it’s in their teeth
dripping down your arms and legs

damp pictures of death
with no chance of reprieve

so much ripping’s been
torn into the whole of you

and unto you
a scarlet black sleeve

***

I was at work. Typical day. Had a couple of angry clients through no fault of my own or my coworkers’. The client just didn’t want to cooperate. What made the situation even worse was that I thought I solved the issue my coworkers had already done something irreversible, something I didn’t know before I went to talk to the lady. Needless to say I was ready to go on my lunch break.

So I had scheduled a tattoo appointment with an artist I’d been before. On my lunch break. And he worked at two locations: one in the area and one in Pakistan. Which somehow was just right down the road? Or perhaps I was just working in Pakistan or where ever the hell I was.

It was incredibly futuristic. The city was sleek black with neon lighting, like something out of Cyberpunk. Even the road had some sort of LED network shooting through the pavement. And while I was marveling at the city, I crashed into a building and I practically just bounced right off, no damage to it or my car. And there was a staircase road that shift with the wheels of my car.

Anyway. I parked at a dramatic shift in scenery. From high-tech pulsating blue and purple lights to an abandoned indoor farmer’s market that was looking pretty decrepit and more alleyway than market. All I knew was that my tattoo artist was on the opposite end.

I’m sneaking through, no big deal. But about halfway through, it finally hit me how ridiculous this was and I got terrified. I turned right around and hurried back through the winding market. But I ran into a lady and I knew whatever language she was speaking. I told her I was scared and she said she’d walk me back to my car in case there were any coyotes.

So there were coyotes. Hiding under the steps leading out to the ‘parking lot.’ As soon as I noticed them lurking, I ran back up the stairs but they caught me easily. Luckily the lady and some outlaw dude ran down and killed them before they hurt me too much. Ya know, just a few bites here and there, some scratches.

But as I laid there, now back at the top of the steps, the new guy loomed over me with his rifle, aiming it at me. I didn’t recognize him but I wondered if it was the tattoo artist and asked him if he was the reason I was here. But then he cocked his gun and I woke up.

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