Charcoal fiber-optic lore

Tom Pescatore


they chalked my

mature rating up to

word count, text recognition

bullshit, slapped the reverse

cuffs on my skinned wrists,

left me locked down

in the internet stockade

without a key, languishing

in my gentle obscurity, my

self-imposed anonymity, or

am I, was I, supposed to realize that

too late—? Hell, it's worked so

far for the mainframe locusts

popping all my shattered balloons,

I'm not even sure you can read this—

how does it translate from my head

to the keys to the screen to the save

to you, how do I know they don't alter

the meaning before it's too late—?

how do I know I'm even typing?

How do I know I'm not someone else?

Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia dreaming of the endless road ahead, carrying the idea of the fabled West in his heart. He maintains a poetry blog: His work has been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he'd rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia's old Skid Row.

Illustration by Meghan Irwin.


Sea Legs