Poetry: The Light Bulb by Alex Antiuk
The Light Bulb
I make sure when you pee,
you don't pee on the floor.
It's a simple life,
and I always keep my usual,
straight line smile.
My smile was given to me by an old man wearing a suit.
He hated looking up and shaking his dick,
and seeing a blank
So he drew me.
The old man didn't realize he created life
when he took out the marker.
His shaky and hairy hand,
leaned over the toilet,
and put two eyeballs, and a nose and a line for my mouth.
He smiled while he did it.
And I was happy to bring joy
into someone's life when I entered this world.
People don't notice me when they poop.
I don't get upset anymore,
but when I was growing up
I always felt sad.
Because they didn't even bother to say hello.
Today was a special day
because the old man was back.
He had been away for almost a week.
I heard him on the phone say “vacation” over and over.
Usually people only grunt or moan,
and sometimes swear when they sit
on a wet toilet seat.
These are the sounds of the bathroom I am used too.
But what about “vacation”?
I don't dream of one.
I just dream of knowing what one is.
The murderer is here.
She has come into the stall
with her bucket and blue rag.
They are her weapons against the innocent.
Her sole job is to kill.
I learned about her when the door was left open,
and I watched her wipe the smile
off the soap dispenser.
She didn't even blink,
when she erased a life
The soap dispenser had been one of my only friends.
He was kind and important.
His face brought happiness to almost everyone who used him,
and I watched their smiles through the mirror.
Many people chuckled with the soap dispenser,
not at him.
He was one of the few things that gave
goodness into the world,
without asking for anything in return.
He didn't even judge when people didn't wash their hands.
But the murderer didn't care.
Her heart was cold and her rag was always wet.
The man who saved my life
had the biggest penis I had ever seen.
He walked in and said,
“Jesus… Are you done cleaning yet?"
And the murderer nodded and walked out.
There is a leak.
I can hear the screaming of the man
at the urinal, and the squishing of water
with his leather shoes.
The water is rushing into my stall.
It is creating a puddle,
and the higher the water goes, the more I realize
I am going to be alone today.
I made a new friend.
He has been frequenting the bathroom
He told me about his prostate being too big
and how he doesn't want to buy diapers.
But his wife keeps telling him,
they can't keep pulling off the highway every five minutes,
for him to run into a gas-station and go pee.
I don't want him to get diapers either.
But he can't hear me.
But I know when he looks at me
he knows I'm on his side.
My light went out.
I wish I could wipe my smile off
because I have not seen a single stream of pee today.
I have not seen a single wiping of the butt.
I am nothing but an inconvenience,
with a drawn-on face.
They came to take me away today.
I was unscrewed for the first time,
and finally saw the world
from the inside of a clear garbage bag.
It was beautiful.
Until they dumped me into a bucket with hundreds of other light bulbs.
All crying to be shattered,
and leave this hell
they called the recycling bin.
Alex Antiuk is from New York, and his work can be found in Misery Tourism, Expat Press and in other small presses. He can be found on Twitter at @letsbamboobaby