Surveillance by Jeffrey S. Callico


We know you.
We know what you’ve been doing.
We know what size shoes you wear and that you go to parks.
That you sit on various benches and watch various people walk by.
We know more about you than anyone could ever imagine.
There are some things we like and some we don’t like.
You are exceptional in that you sometimes make us want to laugh.
But we never laugh.
We never laugh at anything or anyone.
Certainly not you.
Laughter here is off limits to our faces.
Take the other day.
You were walking in Fleethill Park.
You know.
The one with that red and orange and blue carousel/merry-go-round contraption.
You were sitting on the eastern bench.
No one else was around.
It was 9:07 a.m.
We saw your mouth moving.
As if you were speaking to/with someone.
There was no one.
It was 9:07 a.m.
We wanted to laugh.
But we didn’t.
We never do.
You are unmarried and have never been married.
You have had two girlfriends in the past eight years.
One was Kim.
The other one was Angela.
Each one lasted a few weeks then vanished.
You wanted to marry one of them but she hated you in the end.
The other one used you but didn’t hate you.
She just didn’t like you very much.
That one was Angela.
You are boring.
You do nothing.
You sit on benches in parks.
You work a job but you hate it.
We know a lot about you.
Trust us.
You report to work on time every day.
You are never late.
Check that.
You were late twice last year.
You had excuses that were not documented.
You are allowed two unexcused tardies per year.
You despise being late.
For anything.
Especially work.
But you hate what you do.
Your cubicle is gray.
It is a small cubicle.
The one you had before was bigger.
They reduced cubicle size to save space.
Your cubicle is much smaller.
You feel cramped when you sit in it.
The gray cubicle walls surround you.
It is your cubicle cage.
But you report to work on time and do your job.
Then you leave and go to parks.
Sometimes you go home.
4837 Ridgestone Drive.
Apartment H-11.
There is a vertical bookcase in a corner.
We know where you live.
We know so many things about you.
And it scares us.

Please welcome a guest contributor – Jeffrey S. Callico. It’s an honor having him agree to let me post a piece of his work. Founder of the monthly E-Zine Negative Suck, Jeffrey S. Callico hails from Atlanta. Someday he plans to live somewhere in Maine but until then keeps driving around town looking for a place to park. His most recent poetry chapbook, Rough Travel, was published by Graffiti Kolkata Press in July 2010.

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