I Begin to Recognize my Lost Loves on TV at 3 a.m. by Doug Cornett

On channel 232, a group of panty-hose-faced robbers shout orders in the airy lobby of a bank, waving their guns in front of them like majorettes. The hostages, overwrought and average-looking, congeal like a woodwind section into trembling formation. There—is that Emma? The teller hiding behind the counter, her finger on the button.

On 119, a computer-generated brontosaurus lumbers away from a meal of fern leaves, startled by a computer-generated allosaurus, whose human-like eyes are filled with menace. In the distant sky it’s Marisa, a massive fireball speeding toward impact.

On 22, Lila (only leaner and with kinder eyes) zaps the wrinkles from her face with a silver radiation wand. Her smile holds steady with militaristic discipline.

An old-timey cartoon on 403. A walrus in a tuxedo sits on the roof of a home, crying ocean-blue rainbows. He is calling for someone named Antonia. The town floods with his tears. The world floods. A cruise ship bobbles on the endless sea and there, on the deck, a woman rumbas. Antonia!, the walrus calls from his roof. Maylene! I call from my recliner.

Doug Cornett is a writer and teacher living in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys books, ping pong, and watching the Cleveland Cavaliers. His work has appeared in Vestal Review, Superstition Review, Propeller Magazine, and elsewhere.

Share This