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In Retrospect

by Elizabeth Scanlon
When all my efforts began to feel like a stakeout
of a ranch house that intel had reported was the site
of a cult compound, but there’d been no sign
of togas or bonfires, goats, chants, or suspiciously bouffant hairdos
at all during all the time I’d been sitting in the car
subsisting on donuts and Wawa coffee,
counting the number of times Journey’s “Don’t Stop
Believin’” recurs on MIX 106 radio while keeping
meticulous notes on the comings and goings
of dogwalkers, UPS delivery vans, and Range Rovers,
monitoring the lines, which have all been bugged
to no avail, and the re-routed email, my wrist
growing carpal-tunnely from the heft of the useless
telephoto lens kept at the ready lest any hint of movement
occured in the shadows that riffled across the drapes, when
the last known address of the elusive leader turned out to be
a laundromat where the dryers were so aged they’re heated
by gas flames you could see leaping through the grate
and that is more action than you’d seen in a month,
and it was time to chart an inconspicuous relocation
before the sun rose on day number blank of suspect surveillance,
it was then I thought, this is no way to love. 
Read all work by Elizabeth Scanlon
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