The Vanishing Routine
by Todd Mercer

I liked the name my parents named me,
but it became a millstone, so I sunk it
on a boat trip between two nations.
Since then I wore out a few others.
External circumstances do a number
on the self-directed life plan. Am I right?
Reasonable people may feel compelled
to run to the store for milk and bread
but forget to ever return home.
Nothing clears the air like a fresh
zip code. One’s precious relics
should fit in a pair of suitcases.
The suitcases should stow easily
in a running vehicle, the means
of escape. I had different names.
I’m prepared to change, if it conserves
forward momentum. I am
highly adaptable.


Todd Mercer’s short collection, Ingenue, was a winner of the Celery City contest. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance is available for free at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in Blink Ink, Fictive Dream, and Literary Yard.