January 2008 / Volume Eight / Issue One
David Bates
Everything is a Bomb Now

I spray Krazy-String into the kitchen
scouting for trip wires
before crossing to the refrigerator
to check for
pull pins or
tinfoil hinge-circuits
along the rubber seal of its door

I inspect my beer cans
for mouse trap triggers
& snag lines

I check beneath the recliner cushions
the computer chair
and the toilet seat
for pressure detonators

Iím constantly careful
of how much friction
I apply to my fillings
with a toothbrush

I light my cigarettes carefully and
change television channels
with the remote
as slowly as possible

I avoid the cat
when it is very still

& flinch
when it runs at me
suddenly from across the room

I listen to my boots
before putting them on
and I wear my underwear
inside out
just in case

For two years
Iíve never been able to locate
the wall socket that corresponds
to the bedroom light switch

no lamp has ever been plugged into it

and yet
once a week
out of some unexplainable compulsion

Iíll flick that switch
before I can stop myself

and the darkness
startles me