The First Wave of Florida Death Metal

I slump toward the food court

of a strip mall in a primordial swamp

to be born. Immediately

I’m bored, thrashing in this

cradle of human spines,

surrounded by palm trees.

I’m swaddled in obituaries,

dressed in the rip and rift

of a downtuned riff. My first

words are slowly we rot.

I’m an apex predator. All

of my neighbors are apex

predators as well.

The double bass, the blast beats

beat back the insistence

of daily life, the insipid plod

of toil. I gurgle, guttural,

the opposite of gospel’s

clarion chords. Taut

tendons and clenched

teeth mean rage or grave

injury, something as brutal

as bloody as birth.

The groves and orchards

that hem the suburbs

burn. Epcot Center

burns. In the future,

we will all be decapitated

and fed to flocks of vultures.

The air is heavy with wet

heat and black wings.

I practice making a sound

worse than sirens, louder

than the call of this small world.

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