This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series Alternate Histories


Gray, ugly, already starting
to crumble. What the project’s
planners had meant it to say
was: The future is here.
What the residents heard:
You do not belong.
Fortunately, it was possible
to pry the windows open.
On any given night,
you could stand on the street
& watch the litter sail out:
Happy Meal bags, cigarette butts
leaving trails of sparks,
yesterday’s paper.
This year-round autumn
blanketed the courtyard,
& was only swept aside
when the police needed
to outline in chalk
another occupant who’d vanished
through the one good door.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. What a wonderful series – liberation from the same old stories we tell ourselves and can become imprisoned by.


    1. Thanks, Jean! I’m still working out what the series is about (other than poems in the past tense), so that’s very helpful.


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