The Oregon Trail walks into a bar

& orders all of yesterday. I drink it through a straw.
& what the trail misses is what I miss:
the elbows you were created from,
the lemmings child #1, Christopher,
used to throw off the cliff.
The wedding bells child #2, Wendy,
sewed into the rabbits when taxidermy
was her favorite hobby.
I have been gone for so long I don’t know
what to tell you first. I’ll start with this:
I love you. Now I’ll move on to this:
For the last three years I have sold
lobotomies door to door.
See, our children are dead, you
are dead, too, & I have learned what
it is to feel, & so I carve Breathing is a drug
I have lost my addiction to

into the side of one of my cattle.
I close my eyes.
I am the best while dreaming, &
last night I dreamt I built you a windowsill
while the pie baked in the oven.
The pie burned because I remembered
why you bending over turned me on.
How useless we were dressed!
We were never dressed, not even before
lust had time to settle.
Right now I am standing at the edge
of the Kansas River crossing.
The sky looks like a lost
coastline shaded lavender. I can’t cross.
The river is too deep to ford and the Indian
guides have gone on strike. I can’t blame
them, I don’t like the baseball uniforms either.

Gregory Sherl is the author of a novel, The Future for Curious People. This is an excerpt from a never written manuscript titled The Oregon Trail Is Still the Oregon Trail Is a Sequel to The Oregon Trail Is the Oregon Trail.

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