is an online magazine of the literary arts.

12 July 2010 | Vol. 10, No. 2

Before the Fallout We Traded Imaginary Friends like Football Cards

In 1994 you slung thirty dirty verbs and my sister's pacifier over

the cinder block wall separating our house from the neighbor's.

You might not remember, but then, you weren't the one who had

to climb over and salvage it, pal; I always had your back, I was

the fixer. And yeah, we've been through this—I know you don't

exist but I must admit, even 15 years later, when nobody's around

I sometimes stick my fingers in ugly places, kiss electrical sockets

(with tongue), wrap my feet in used latex gloves. Maybe I can make

you scream survival like Albuquerque, Winter '94, or moondance

backwards over tiled gangrene/mezzanine/Hippocrene; with

a little mescaline Pegasus'll pick you up, pidgeon, you told me

repeatedly. Take it slow, baby, no ketchup this time… that's how I

got infected, see, when you jammed teeth into the lignin-lining

of my throat and croaked out spun-spazzy blues jams with a little

Dutch flavor. You littered careless symptoms like tossed Momo's

pizza ("Slices as big as your head!") over the craggy-grooved wood

ridges, buttered 'em in a BK hold-the-tomatoes smile. Now I'm

delirious—ironic right? Some kind of fever dream where I see my

sister recoil from the snowball I chuck in her ear, or where I lick

the dirt off her pacifier and pass it back to her. From swine flu I

puke pulled pork on a shag rug, and from its grimy fibers biophys-

icists invent words for my words and letters with shit-eating grins.



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