Horizontal violence doesn’t mean what it seems to mean—something lying bundled like a baby under a rose bush. A girl with long bangs was caught on a surveillance camera painting her nails black. It’s typical for that part of the country, where they ridicule the simple civilities, deconstruct bourgeois artifice. Afterwards, a man from the capital forced on me a drawing—a heart-shaped head, red circles below it for breasts—as if it were a confession just needing my signature. I laughed. The city everyone hated was the city I loved.


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Howie Good is a poet whose latest volume is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press. He has several poetry books forthcoming, including Fugitive Pieces (Right Hand Press) and Buddha & Co (Plain Wrap Press).