Prime Time

On the television
is a clip show marathon:
police chases
horrible accidents
memorable assaults.
I’m not really watching it
but I leave it on in the background
so that my brain can absorb
all of the terror
with none of the effort.
While a man is drowning in a river
I pay my electric bill
and when the little lady shopkeeper
is attacked by a thief with a crowbar
I am putting the last dish away.
Every so often I glance up.
Shaky camera
people trying to fuck
or rob
or kill each other.
Desperation.
Tragedy.
Flashing lights.

But no one ever dies.

That’s the beauty
of television.