Two teenagers stop talking to each other.

They can’t find a working lighter, so they take all the shreds of tobacco out of their cigarettes.

Little by little they put the shreds up their noses in the dark parts of other people’s apartments.

At one point one of them smiles mysteriously, as if embarrassed about something private that can’t be held in any longer.

Their noses drip, and they feel increasingly worried about where the water goes when they flush it down the drain.

.

.

Two teenagers spend fifty minutes trying to climb to the top of a very thin, very tall chair.

It’s the only piece of furniture left in the apartment now that they’ve moved the rest of it out into the parking lot.

There’s a terrific echo when the chair tips over and shatters into smithereens.

One laughs weakly while the one who fell hardest lies unconscious.

Later in the afternoon a man and boy wrestle a dog in a patch of gravel by their old couch.

.

.

Two teenagers take the last two available seats in the crowded waiting room.

One of them is perfecting a little ball of clay.

The other starts filling out forms, and a few drops of blood fall onto the paper.

They ask the nurse for something to stop the blood and she disappears into a back room for twenty minutes.

When she returns all she has is a cloth napkin that one of them stole from a party several years before.

.

.

Two teenagers pass each other on the street without looking up.

They run into each other again at the bus stop, then get on separate buses and ride them all afternoon to nowhere in particular.

When the buses stop running they go home to discover they aren’t allowed back in their apartment.

They would like to take a walk in the woods right now, but there are always people waiting for them behind the trees.

In the dark their faces all have the exact same look, like finding a dead squirrel with your dad’s shoes in it.
.

.


John Colasacco is the author of Antigolf (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and The Information Crusher (Spuyten Duyvil). ​Other work has appear​ed or is forthcoming in Hobart, Birdfeast, theNewerYork, LIES/ISLE, and The Iowa Review. Anyone interested in written/artistic collaboration can email at jacolasa@syr.edu.