Win or Lose

I wanted to look like a computer-generated version of myself in order to highlight my distinctively generic sameness, so this morning I got the Einstein haircut. I immediately felt my IQ increase, but I can’t tell if ice cream is made of particles or waves. Now I’m standing here in the space rain waiting for the invisible answers. How much exactly do the wages of sin pay? Normally, I’m beholden to dark money, but I’ve been fact-checking the truth values of my little white lies, and I’ll be damned whether I can figure out if they’re fireflies or lightning bugs. Thankfully, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even when they have a head cold, mosquitos can detect an animal’s scent, and zero-in on their malarial target. I wonder how cows feel about a bullseye? As much as I hate to admit it, I was previously unaware of the resurgence in the popularity of the American strip mall. Personally, I prefer using the drive-through window, although you have to consider how expensive it is to replace all that glass. Life and death may be popular among the advocates of Western civilization, but as Jean Paul Sartre observed, once you learn the details of victory, it’s impossible to distinguish it from defeat.

This poem is included in the recently published collection Lucky Animals.

Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author of five collections of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray, de/tonations, Momentary Turbulence, No. Wait. I Can Explain, Lucky Animals, and the forthcoming WordinEdgeWise. Six times nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and three times nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, Brad’s poetry and fiction have appeared in, The Los Angeles Times, The American Journal of Poetry, New York Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Clockhouse, Folio, Cloudbank, Baltimore Review, 45th Parallel, Best Microfiction 2019, Lunch Ticket, Cultural Daily, and other publications. Brad is also the author of seven poetry chapbooks, among them, Democracy of Secrets, Collateral, An Evil Twin is Aways in Good Company, and Funny You Should Ask. He also maintains a blog.