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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Girls Who Walked on Glass Poem

Justin Karcher continues his poetic journey through the theater season

How to Have a Mental Breakdown in the Theater District

Annie Lennox appears to me

in a vision while I’m smoking

too many cigarettes

in front of Alleyway Theatre

she’s stands

in the middle of the train tracks

waiting for the train to come

I tell her it’s not worth it

that there’ll be no passengers

the trains are always empty

this time of the year

at least they always appear to be

why would you want to go out like that?

a train with no passengers

at least choose a train jam-packed

with Sabres jerseys, sloppy lovers

college kids spending loan money

on craft beer before a snowstorm

sometimes they catch their reflection

but only for a moment

now I’m thinking about glass

how weird it is, you see yourself

but it’s hard to swallow

so you have to break it apart

tiny swords

you have to walk barefoot across

hopefully the blood you leave behind

will tell you what you need to hear

yeah, that’s why I’m seeing Annie

she walks on broken glass

she sings about it

the rhythm of sweet dreams

turning into nightmares

the nightmares that we all need to conquer

live to tell the tale

of your worst moments

maybe then language is like glass

you have to break it apart to understand

monologues are like shards

that tear at your heart

train tracks

varicosing through strip clubs

repressed emotions shedding their clothes

and getting closer to the truth

suddenly I’m standing on the tracks

Annie’s gone

Main Street a ghost town

the chloroform buzz of the Shea’s sign

too much self-loathing

too ambitious or is it laziness?

glue on the bottom of my feet

instead of the broken glass I need

more cigarettes, more feistiness

more intellectual breakdowns

of everything going wrong

but the demons are never gone

they’re partying in a hot tub

the hot tub is your brain

too much of their champagne down the drain

and you feel you’re impossible to save

the rumbling of heavy machinery

everything bad approaching

the moon isn’t acting like the moon

more like a mirror that the earth holds up

to get a better look at itself

gray, barren, with craters

that need to be filled

let language fill in the blanks

be more immersive with yourself

suddenly I come to

I’m not on the tracks anymore

people are around me

the shattering of life


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