SARAH GALVIN


THE SIGN WITH NOTHING ON IT

This blank sign in front of the motel was my favorite object in the neighborhood as a child. It is
shaped like it outlines words, but it has been a solid gray-green for as long as I can remember.
“Look, it’s the sign with nothing on it!” I yelled to my parents when we passed it in the car. After
much thought about why a blank sign existed, I decided it must be art.

My uncle said, “Paintings of the crucifixion can be beautiful. That’s the difference between a
real crucifixion and a painting. That’s why people make paintings.”

The night my mom drove her car into the front yard, my uncle came all the way to our house. I
was standing alone in the kitchen with the lights off, and he picked me up. My uncle who used to
put his fake teeth in his belly button and make it talk to me.

I imagined crucifixions were the popsicle truck colors of the neighbors’ weathered plastic Jesus,
and smelled like adults’ coats after some event where it was necessary to sit down and be quiet.
 
 
 
 
AUBADE

I’ll live in any structure available.
I’ll shove my sleeping bag into a newspaper box,
and drag the box into a parking garage
so I can live in both at once.
I refuse to interact with a structure any other way.

When I tried just fucking somewhere,
it was like a sad country song.
When I tried just eating somewhere,
it was like a sad country song about breakfast.
The songs were barely audible
and seemed to come from nowhere,
I could only endure them if I imagined
everyone who had ever lived in those places was with me.

I’ve gotten good at living in things,
but I like it best when all the things go away—
like the morning we woke up on a cement floor
where neither of us lived,
on a street white with frost
that disappeared in a white cloud.
Everything was gone but us sad country singers,
and somewhere an audience cheered and cheered.
 
 
 
 



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