We didn’t talk about it, but we knew we’d never amount to anything, no matter what we did.
   No matter how celebrated the accomplishment, no matter how big the lie and the audience buying it, nothing could ever fill those holes inside us, bruised clefts hidden from eyes, though we’d never relent, shooting gophers and planting strange crops.
   Fear of climate, and tangles of root, would keep us busy, our hands forever at the mercy of hidden forecasts.
   We were, as my friend Joey once called us—The Dirtbags of the Universe.
   I’m not sure what prompted him to say it, probably just one of those caustic blurts that we, kids from Bensonhurst, specialized in—and after he said it, I looked at him, said nothing, maybe smiled, but the term immediately burrowed in one of those holes inside me; became an echo, gathering dark, before it splintered and sharpened into an insight.
   Joey was right. We were the Dirtbags of the Universe, even if we were not.
   We felt ourselves to be so, which amounted to more than truth—collectively, we possessed the character of a single raindrop, skidding toward an open sewer, just because.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of two novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale and Raking the Dust, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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