Five Ways to Disappear

By Leah Mueller

1). You might be dead. Same old shit each time I google your name.  An ancient Myspace page. YouTube videos from 2011, when you were in a band. Facebook account deactivated. LinkedIn profile says you’re still a grocery clerk. Why can’t you do something new, so I’ll know if you’re still alive?

2). No matter what I do, the IRS can find me. There’s nowhere to hide. If I drive my car into the Pacific and dig a hole into the deepest recesses of the ocean floor, an agent will discover my trembling body under a pile of crabs. Better be a good citizen and pay taxes.

3). Each minute I get smaller. Yesterday I was two feet tall. Today, only nine inches. I remember being 5’7, but that was long ago. Photos hang over my desk. Me: smiling, not knowing I was about to vanish. I’ll be one with the cosmos by August. I can’t wait.

4). I stare across the park at the horizon. My reality is finite and ends at a grove of trees behind the brick walls of a $500,000 house. That building was worth half as much three years ago. As its value skyrockets, mine shrivels to less than market value.

5). One day I won’t exist. People will walk through the space that used to be me. They won’t know it. That’s only fair. I don’t pay much attention when I step in another person’s spot, either. I charge in like I own the place. Time to give somebody else a turn.

Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks and four books. Her next two books, 'Death and Heartbreak' and 'Misguided Behavior' will be published in Autumn, 2019 by Weasel Press and Czykmate Press. Leah’s work appears in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.


The Roadkill

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