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  • Route 7 Review

Adrian Potter—Eight Things You Might Not Know About My Clone


My clone was that adolescent friend

who would come over after school

every day but became uber-popular

in high school and then experimented

with drugs and later went off the grid

but now is back in town trying to get

their shit together and we have coffee

and catch up one afternoon before

night classes at the community college.


I have grown resentful of my clone

for writing the groundbreaking novel

that I lack the audacity and discipline

to author myself, but then not caring

enough to attempt to get it published.


My clone was in an indie band.

Mildly successful with a cult following

in the post-Napster, pre-iPod era.

Even toured several Midwestern cities

and paid off student loans with the proceeds.

Later, in downtown Des Moines, my clone

quit abruptly over creative differences

while claiming they penned all the band’s

cliched songs. It may have been the truth,

but it was bad form. Afterward, neither

my clone nor the talentless remainder

of the group found anything near their

original success. Post bygones, they do

get together, occasionally, for random

one-offs at dive bars – but only after

a debt collector or ex-wife has called

one of them demanding payments.


My clone’s inner circle is an exclusive

nightclub. It’s not that no one can get inside—

it’s just that you need to be on the list.


My clone did a ton of self-work to foster

personal growth while embarking on

many journeys, literal and metaphorical,

to arrive here. My clone squandered its

stamina while going the distance and has

been heaving for breath ever since

but remains focused on the finish line.

After their glow-up, my clone endured

eye rolls and sideways glances from haters.

It’s hard work being so well-adjusted,

but if my clone did it, then you can, too.


My clone represents an advanced form

of sentient technology from a dystopian

future, and they will singe your thoughts

if you try to read their mind. Be careful.


My clone doesn’t care much about

what you want. My clone doesn’t care

much about what I want, either.


My clone has a love child that I kindly

clothe, feed, and watch over whenever

my clone feels a bit too downhearted

or distracted to care. My clone’s bastard

is hardheaded like me, so I give them

heavy-handed life advice while playing

catch in the backyard, hugging them

after they misjudge the trajectory

of my cut fastball, touching their bruises

gently and chanting it's going to be it’s going to be

okay as they cry through their pain

 as they cry through their pain.

Adrian Potter

Adrian S. Potter, winner of the 2022 Lumiere Review Prose Award, writes in Minnesota when he’s not busy silently judging your beer selection and record collection. Potter is the author of three collections of poetry/prose/hybrid work, including the recent And the Monster Swallows You Whole (Stillhouse Books) and Field Guide to the Human Condition (CW Books).


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