First line from a Tweet by @ASMRSuggestions
There’s a Minotaur in this Ikea,
and it’s ruminating something.
You’re on a Formica counter
wrapped up in your golden yarns,
dreaming of where you’ll be, how
you’ll live, who you’ll be
friends with — when you get out.
Each year, fourteen graduates
fall into this Ikea’s cart terminal
like a self-offering.
You did icebreakers.
Some of them took carts. Most
shifted their weight from foot to foot,
then left. You can see some stranded
on other countertops, being eaten
by a hunger, yarning about.
Somewhere, plates shudder.
The Minotaur craves something, too.
You have spent so much time on toilets
skimming the fine print on instruction packets
for something, mind and legs numbing.
You have loomed into yourself
in so many en suite bathroom mirrors.
Then, at 9 p.m., most lights go out,
and you’re forced to give up and sleep
alone. On the counter, you’ve given up
making meatballs without a syllabus.
The stove lights droop, glow brighter.
Start thinking too much, the décor fades,
and this becomes a place of transference,
a factory of assembly. The rooms
are so perfectly designed. The décor’s
smiling. The gullets are opening. Buying
a chair — where does that get you?
You’re a bit scared, honestly. You’re shuffling,
fighting the flow, the impending boxed parts.
Bookshelves brux. Blood rushes
through the lights. The Minotaur
stops chewing cud. The Minotaur:
You wish you could speak up.
He seems nice. You wonder if he misses
his mom, too. She dropped him off
like yours did. The rooms swell.
Everyone jolts up, then notices each other.
You all do that half-wave. You’ve made
eye contact before. The Minotaur
was trying on a nose ring towel handle.
You were imaging ottoman manuals
taught you companionship and credit tips.
You wish you could hug him.
You wish you could pitch a blanket tent
and lie down next to him outside it,
look up at the florescent bulb stars,
and talk about life, find comfort
in your transmogrifications together.
You’d ask him his real name.
Then you two could make meatballs
just by guessing! And they’d turn out great!
You both could leave through the sliding doors.
Maybe you’d become a reporter.
But the curtains flush red.
You hug your precious yarns and risk
a look at the other islanders.
They seem like you. Maybe
you are all doomed voyagers.
Crewmates. The uvulas tinkle. Air-
conditioned fog washes over you.
Your peers disappear. You should have said
anything. The PA says you have minutes
to depart. You really want to, but
you’re too tied up. The Minotaur moos.
The thermostats flush saliva.
By day, BEAU BROCKETT works in communications for a Michigan environmental nonprofit. By night, — well, some nights — he reads and writes. He graduated from Albion College’s English department in 2019.