To kill time between sacrifices,
Iphigenia watches documentaries.
One, Foreign Parts,
Set in Willet’s Point,
Comforted her in Tauris
By giving her misery a bonded bedfellow.
As a 5’2” man in a Parka
Saws at the bowels of a steering wheel
And then drags it
Across a snow-covered scab
That doubles as a driveway.
A part she doesn’t know the name of
Goes clackety-clack along the way,
Sounding like all the seconds of a clock
That will never get ticked.
Iphigenia hates to be morbid about it,
But she can’t help but reference the spinal cords
Of prisoners, and heathens, and other entities “xeno-”
That have met the other side of the knife.
An old man worries that the AirTrain
Will trample on
And re-gash the landscape of his last 76 years.
He wonders, “Where are you gonna put the bulkhead!?”
He knows his vote doesn’t count
Because he never bought a computer
And therefore doesn’t get the emails
That change dates and times and the urgency of things.
He says “plane” instead of “plan”:
“What kind of plane do you have!?”
Iphigenia tries to choose her words carefully.
She never purchases WhiteOut,
For fear this will only give her permission
To make mistakes.
Of a man and a woman
Give birth to albino ectoplasm
As the ponder the annihilation of their world.
Iphigenia reminds herself that Tauris,
Might someday be a shopping mall.
And that really would make ceremonial solemnity of the place
A great deal more awkward,
If it had to come with, say, a coupon.
Hasidim offer to do a mitzvah
And another mitzvah
And another mitzvah,
If that one doesn’t take.
The Taurians do not wear snow
The same way they do in Willet’s Point.
In Willet’s Point,
You can take a car radio,
And tune it to “I Wanna Be Sedated,”
And let the rims
And the tires
And the pleather
And the applefire red toolboxes
Do the rest.
JFK or LaGuardia-bound,
Ripples through a puddle
That tells the brief story
Of a car
And a splash
And a street light
And the commerce that secures it
And the puny gasps
Of a coral road below,
The sound cutting through with a/
Iphigenia reminds herself that she hates to fly,
White marker –
Not chalk –
Counts off tires.
The numbers seem to carry great meaning,
Though they themselves seem meaningless.
Who does not speak English,
stands in a row of doors.
One comes from an Intrepid.
One comes from a Camry.
One comes from a Maxima.
From a Taurus.
They seem to make a full car.
But the doors,
Aborts a gas tank
From the trunk of a sedan.
Straightens her hair
In the rear-view mirror
A woman in Foreign Parts
In something similar,
Except it’s a more adult car.
The woman wants to look good
For her husband
Who just got out of prison –
He would have been back sooner,
But he argued with the guard,
Making the guard detain him
Until 2, instead of noon.
Iphigenia sympathizes with this,
In the mean time,
In the shadow of
And the Home of the Mets,
Until she can distinguish between her letters
And the white space between them.
“Whatdaya need, man –
Jonathan Alexandratos is a New York City-based writer who typically tells stories about how pop culture binds human relationships together. Chiefly known as a playwright, Jonathan has been awarded and produced internationally. All of their recent full-length plays can be found on the New Play Exchange (www.newplayexchange.org). Jonathan is happily a member of the Queens-based playwrights’ lab Mission to (dit)Mars and the Dramatists Guild.