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I’m running around the house with the dog when my cell phone rings
it is my dad calling to tell me happy new years

there are times that I wake up and can’t remember why I did that
or I can’t justify it or something, the act of waking up I mean

or like right now I am listening to music so loud that
sometimes I check to see if someone has sneaked up behind me

something that I find confusing is considering
that there is anything outside of my immediate peripheral vision

I just checked behind me again
are you paying any attention to me right now

like last night hiding in the bathroom during the countdown
rather than standing among all those kissers

like when I was 14 and sitting on a cliff at camp surrounded
by an even number of friends all making out

for an hour or so at a time looking
out at trees and sky and dark and other things and thinking

I remember in the van on the drive home feeling surprised at how I knew
all the lyrics to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and feeling
proud until I realized no one cared

that was the first time I ever drank coffee
so hot it burned my tongue
and Grant made fun of me later at the Taco Bell somewhere outside of town
for complaining about the sandpapery soreness

and now that I am older and I have become more
physically attractive and sometimes girls want to kiss me
and sometimes they do (though

the older I become the less this seems to be again
like I have reached my denouement for making out)

are you paying enough attention to me right now
whenever I make high pitched noises at the dog it yelps and howls

by Michael Inscoe

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