Two prose poems by Hannah Kludy

The Conoco ATM

Dad tells me that it’s a front for terrorism, that twenties go in and the computer tells another computer that it was a ten and Afghanistan pockets the other bill. Fazel works there, and I think he’s actually from Pakistan and that he likes America, wakes up in the middle of the night to bottle-feed his newborn baby, and is best friends with Tommy who wears his hair long and works days. Where is Pakistan compared to Afghanistan? Dad would say that they are basically the same thing. I wouldn’t believe that, but I feel tricked by the globe ever since I learned that American maps project China as a drastically smaller landform than the U.S. The ATM is in the corner by the Powerball machine which Dad does use. Next to that is all the flavors of Mad Dog with a stack of paper bags. The floor is very dirty. I heard Fazel telling Dad that he plans to put a fried chicken shop in the back. I’d eat that, he replies.



The Tower Itself

It’s gray and tall and looks medieval. Around the tower is a barbed wire fence and around the neighborhood, they say that it’s a water tower gone dry. But that’s not what the kids at the bus stop say. They say that three drunk guys climbed it once and one of them fell in and cracked his head open and died. It was before our time, but they say the whole place smelled like fish in the summer. One of the guys who climbed the tower killed himself later. The other started a gravel company and moved away. We have to look at the tower each morning. Sometimes it turns black with rain. My friend Amber is pregnant and she says that she’ll still take her kid around there, haunted or not. I’m fourteen and having a motherfucking baby, she says. What the fuck do I have to worry about?




Hannah Kludy is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University and a current MFA student at Creighton University. Her poetry has been published in Missouri’s Best Emerging Poets Anthology, Medium Weight Forks, Algebra of Owls, and 34th Parallel. Her fiction has been published in over a dozen other magazines.



(Front page image via)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *