The Hitting Game
On the island’s south side
a solitary town fizzes
like overloaded circuitry
on dark, motherboard hills.
Across a sticky, smooth-tiled walkway
an amusement arcade spills
a test of sexiness based on how clammy your palm is
and the hitting game.
You spin in coins so they register
on sensors worn numb.
A padded stump protuberates.
The screen says HIT IT! A bell rings
but everyone's watching
and your hasty jab glances off
plastic quilting compacted as B & B pillows.
Missing makes you totter. It's your second go,
the bell rings and the screen says HIT IT!
A slurp of adrenalin clenches your heart
halts paella digestion, and this time,
when your half-arsed haymaker connects,
an industrial spring kicks back, jolts up your arm:
its like touching an electric fence.
Sweat prickles through burnt skin
it's your third and last chance
to prove yourself
and the screen says HIT IT! so you hiss
come on you fucking fucker, fuck you.
The bell rings, you duck down half an inch
to push against the planet, bite the air
even if you're the type to stick to the shade,
even if you've learnt to not want
and know when to stop,
even if you've never, ever, your whole life,
intentionally hurt anyone