The Zombie Apocalypse

A friend tells me he’s the first pick on several teams,
and I realize that I’ve never considered teams.
Truth is, I’ve always imagined myself alone
when I think about the living dead taking over,
hiding in a closet somewhere or in a trench.
There are so many things I chalked up
to being a Capricorn that I’m now learning
are trauma responses. If finding a team
during the zombie apocalypse involves
asking for help, I’m screwed. I couldn’t
even ask Paul to borrow his truck the last time
I moved across town. I strapped my mattress
and box spring to the top of my crossover
with some rope and drove slow, hoped
for the best. With visions of them falling
in the middle of a busy intersection,
I did what I do every time I move:
said Hail Marys, found a guy on Craigslist
to help me transport my couch. Craigslist
is getting weird. I’ve found that there
are countless men in every town with trucks
who I can pay rather than inconvenience
to lift my heavy furniture. These men
aren’t body builders. They’re not very good
at lifting heavy things, but they need
the money. They strain, and they huff,
and they sweat like beer bottles left out
in summer, even if it’s the dead of winter,
but they get the job done, and, once they
figure out how to pivot my couch
at the right angle to fit it in through
the front door, they leave me all alone.

Brett Hanley is a Poetry Editor for Southeast Review and a PhD candidate at Florida State. Their work is forthcoming or has recently been published in River Styx, Gulf Coast, Hobart, Puerto del Sol, THE BOILER, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. She has received support from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and American Poetry Journal recently published her debut chapbook, Defeat the Rest.

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