by Neil Hilborn and Hieu Minh Nguyen
after Will Evans, after Buddy Wakefield
N: No one is from here. Everyone is from the city
or the next city over.
H: Everyone I know, I’ve known for a while now. When I meet
someone new, chances are I’ve met them before. My city,
two small towns with a river.
N: My city big city to the left, refineries to the right.
H: My town sleeps on both sides of the Mississippi
N: My town is going back for seconds. On the list
of fattest towns, my town is second. And third
and fourth. There’s a freeway in my town
called the Beltway. It’s the biggest
freeway. True story.
H: My town sleeps at 5 pm. My town has a 9
to five. At the end of the work day I-94 spits everyone
from those skyscrapers back to the suburbs.
N: My town would call in sick but it’s gotta
My town wears a halo of nail salons and strip malls,
H: braces made out of PBR gutterfucks.
N: Belts made of bad leather, worse luck.
My town’s teeth are jacked.
H: My town wore Uggs to the prom.
N: My town wears cowboy boots to the everywhere.
My town is punching the clock. No,
literally, my town wants to fight time.
Everyone is leaving. H: My town is just a layover.
N: My town thinks public transit is a car
with the windows down.
H: My town all day happy hour. My town seasonal
depression always. Dragging our smiles through the grey
slush and frozen lakes of sewer overflow.
N: My town has been underwater seven times.
H: My town 30 below and still going. My town
six feet under and still kicking.
H: Another shot of Polish. Another night alone.
It’s two-for-one’s all evening.
H: Keep your tab open and we’ll call you a cab in the morning.
N: We got parking lots like some towns got parks.
Car dealerships like supermarkets.
Churches like supermarkets.
H: Plough truck for a good hand. Two seasons:
winter and construction. My town trying
to be bigger.
N: My town all freeway. My town always headed
out of town. My town would get out,
but it’s got family here.
H: My town thinks it’s tougher than it actually is. Barking
at the ankles of some bigger metropolis. My town hates
everything, but is nice to everyone.
N: My town would like to kindly warn you: don’t drink
the water, don’t smile at the cops, don’t buy gas
here, don’t be gay here.
H: My town wants you to be different or be nothing.
My town is going through its really awkward stage.
My town fucking hates its parents.
My town deep fried and stuffed with cheese.
Shimmying down the street in its Amercan flag bikini.
Kill the bass and turn the music down.
My town will call the cops if you fuck too loud.
H: My town thinks it was cooler
before you moved here.
N: My town thinks it met you at a party once.
My town remembers your name, but pretends