HERNANDO, I AM CALLING

by Matt Voscinar –

i. Masaryktown

After the seventh time trying to pronounce it,
people always ask me, “What’s in Masaryktown?”
I tell them: Old people and meth labs
I can spot them pretty easily –
the meth labs. A few years ago,
my friend Peter’s house shook from an explosion.
Good neighbors.

It’s a place with two gas stations and
one Cuban restaurant,
where everyone knows each other,
even the hooker,
like one big family that doesn’t
like each other very much.
Our coat of arms?
Busch beer cans.
Favorite mode of transportation?
Lawn mower.
Our smiles?
Missing teeth.
Masaryktown is one big DUI waiting to happen.

ii. Brooksville

The whisper I was born in,
Sunday storm, hiding beneath the awning
of a bench on a shuffleboard court,
a two story church with rusty stairs in the heart of downtown where I cried on New Year’s Eve,
potholes and police cars,
fast food and fire,
where I met my first everything beneath
cigarette butts, bad coffee, and burnt pages.
We waged war against thunderstorms
and fell in the love with the taste of “goodbye.”
I meant it. Every time.
Where I learned about open endings.
Where I learned that closure
is a cycle of dependence.

iii. Spring Hill

Somewhere inhibition found a home off of Deltona.
Somewhere there’s a nicotine binge still burning.
Somewhere there’s a drum set cover in dust.
Somewhere there’s a heavy rope.
Somewhere there’s a bottle with someone else’s name on it.
Somewhere there’s a revolver with five bullets left.

iv.

Hernando, I am calling to ask why you
hide behind golf courses,
hide behind subdivisions,
hide behind churches,
hide behind schools,
and hide behind your name.
I know you as a plague.
I know you as the ghosts made of morphine.
I know you as a morgue.
Hernando, you are so beautiful
when you are not boasting
your body count. I am calling
for all of the names you stole,
for the suicides you covered up,
for the bad landscaping over their graves.
Hernando, they know you as a lovely place to retire.
I know you as an empty room
with a bed
permanently made.


 

Matthew Voscinar was born and raised in the 589 square mile nursing home that is Hernando County, Florida. He currently works at PHSC as a Developmental Education and writing specialist. His work can be found in Mouse Tales Press and Ink, Sweat & Tears. When he is not working or writing, you can find him hitting the snooze button and napping rabidly.

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