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Tao of Right Now



Promise you'll tell me when we reach the end, you slurred to me the first time we met, downing your seventh shot, bleeding ash like Hephaestus. You were beyond drunk, your kneecaps bloody like the bashed-in heads of snakes. You made your move by the dead refrigerator, taking us to the coffee-stained counter where your bare butt accidentally grazed the disposal, mangling a fork beyond recognition. "Let that bitch grind," you commanded me before taking a bite out of my shoulder blade, hoisting your lonely devils on my steeple, burying your twisted roots at my tombstone. You confessed to me your dark dreams, the ones where you would pinch the heads off polar bears, crush seahorses by the dozen, perform hari-kari with a banana, swim through the sun or watch Jupiter ascend from your Ouroboros staircase on doomsday. You didn't believe in civilization, only Saturday night and the spectacle of stars exploding. We weren't exactly Bonnie and Clyde, more like Bonnie and the nervous bank teller. When I'd say tomato, you'd say dead cat. When I'd say potato, you'd say bubonic plague. If wishes were horses, we had a glue factory. Violence as fetish your drug of choice. Ruts in your record too deep. Play me again Sam, you joked, but I never laughed. My refusal to jam the needle to scratch your wounds. The last night I saw you there was blue paint in your hair, your fists were closed, your mouth was open―full of teeth like polished bullets. Your knees were still bloody. Your phlegmatic repose a carefully arranged bouquet of grenades, daring me to pull pins. Every corpuscle in your face rushed to the surface, stabbing sick shadows around your bloodshot eyes which by that point were no more than worn down rusty nubs of bayonets, dulled by inaction. You wanted trench warfare, but I was a pacifist, my armistice wrapped in white flag. I was beyond sober standing at the door you punched a hole through, thinking: You can't save the bomb that wants to go off. I counted 18 holes in your skirt, said: We're there.

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