The Artist of Trickham Road

I knew a man once 
who built a chandelier 
out of Taco Bell wrappers

it grew underneath a highway overpass
stole its light from the headlights 
of passing cars
every driver staring open-mouthed 
shocked to stumble on such glory 
or to see how it had grown 
six feet across then ten 
every T and B in place 
to stripe the arms with color 
a feat of engineering as well as art 
could not work the foil too much 
or it would lose its shine 
soaked the paper bags 
in buckets full of highway runoff 
till they dissolved into paste 
and that was all it took 
to make the whole thing stick together besides the man who worked it

he did six months in Hinkley County
for punching a man who offered him a Bible
and some loose change and a Big Mac wrapper 
and when he got out found 
they had taken down his chandelier 
and so jumped off the overpass

only high enough to break his shins
but still 
god, what fucking integrity!

William Hicks is a writer living in Gainesville, FL. He is the author of Stargazer’s Kitchen, a collection of poems from Synecdoche Press. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Conjunctions, Hummingbird Mag, and elsewhere. Eating a burrito that one of his friends secretly laced with Diablo Sauce without flinching remains one of his proudest achievements.

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