:corrosion” I try to plug it, but it’s spongy, porous, crumbling at the edges. So, I try to catch it: I place a bucket beneath the leak, hoping to minimize the damage. But the leak is thick, dense, heavy – I can hear it throughout my apartment. There is no escape. “FIRST LADY MELANIA DOES NOT HAVE A BODY DOUBLE,” echoed as I brush my teeth. I spit and rinse. I go to wash my face. “BOYCOTT HOME DEPOT.” I apply moisturizer and try not to look. I have too much to do today. I open my computer to begin work. “HAVE YOU VOTED YET?” I delete emails we don’t need. “CAL FIRE LIFTS RED FLAG WARNINGS ACROSS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.” I read students’ college essays about depression, about overcoming sports injuries, about the death of family members. “KANYE GIFTS KIM KARDASHIAN WITH A HOLOGRAM OF HER LATE FATHER.” My cat rubs against my leg, oblivious of anything but her empty food dish: I am jealous. “PROTESTS CONTINUE AGAINST ABORTION RULING IN POLAND.” I rub my eyes and take pills for my headache. The noise is insufferable. “HOW US CITIES ARE PREPARING FOR ELECTION DAY UNREST.” I resist the urge to dig into the leak, fingers splaying the rot like clay: this will only make it worse, I remind myself. I still stare. I can’t help myself. Before I know it, I am eating dinner. “HERE’S HOW THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE WORKS.” I am eating pizza. It is delicious. “OLD SEWERS ARE BECOMING A MODERN COVID-19 WATCHDOG.” Soon, it is time to go to bed. Sleep will be a reprieve, I think.
“QUIZ: CAN YOU TELL A TRUMP FRIDGE FROM A BIDEN FRIDGE?”
“THE NEPALI MAN WHO CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD.”
“U.S. ECONOMIC GROWTH HIT A QUARTERLY RECORD, BUT A SHORTFALL REMAINS.”
I turn my phone over, but lie awake.
Hudson Hess (they/him) is a queer non-binary transmasc human (?) and proud cat dad from New York. They have a master’s degree in Contemporary Asian and Asian American Studies from Stony Brook University, and they are an MFA candidate at Stony Brook Southampton. They can be found on Instagram @frayedflowers and on Twitter @usotoundo. Their work has appeared in with confetti and Warning Lines. They are also a prose reader for The Winnow Magazine!