Mike Maguire CC
We were born and then we did this to our bodies
In the living room there’s an orange couch filled with fleas. It came here all the way from the 1970s to the e-girl to me and the insides are rotting faster than culture can keep up with. If it were the 1970s, the boy who lives at the bar down the street would still be difficult. He would still have the widest pant flair and longest pinky nails. He would still complain about his lazy girlfriend while turning up his nose at bums to reveal the hole in his septum. The word “pest” sounds like “persist” in sheep’s clothing.
In the bathroom I shit at completely irregular time periods. Always, the upstairs neighbor will watch TV or pretend to watch TV or leave the TV be so the highly-adapted late capitalist west can leak the dogged and evasive smell of feet into the walls and her subconscious. I’ve convinced myself I’d know a human voice when I hear it. The toilet seat is like a hot seat for vulnerability—I know that she alone will never hear me. There doesn’t seem to be enough wails to cover that relief. The walls don’t like it and it confuses the TV.
When I sit back in the yellow chair and stare at the wall because I do not own a TV, I remember all the times that I’ve gone to sleep raw-dogging red pills and rose-tinted glasses simultaneously, too tired to alchemize contaminated mucus into breath. It occurs to me that I don’t know the difference between service or disservice when it comes to the self. The wallflower is a useful metaphor when one is too sweet to die and too insane to live. Luckily, the wallflower does not really exist.
The kitchen is a muted room draped in red where real human voices are chewed. I offer to take the couch to the alley since he needs a place to have sex with the younger musician, since besides leaving piles of clothes and hair at my apartment he lives with his parents and she is persistent. The bedroom is next to the kitchen, and sometimes when he’s inside of me I become her instead—red hair, draped in red. Sometimes I wonder if I want her as well. He doesn’t seem to notice the difference. There is no such thing as an addiction postpartum, because you cannot be addicted to the losing of something, only the promise or the illusion that you’re going to keep getting it back.
In this time of diatomaceous earth, the bedroom quickly becomes a barren mattress with the snow-like landfall of apocalypse. The floorboards are stretch marks uneven, condensed, apparent. It takes devotion to avoid reading the messages in someone else’s exoskeleton. The hive mind has a funny way of circling back. He offers to take the couch to the alley, he even kidnaps a friend in order to prove that he’ll do it.
People that we love, hate, are targets of the mob or the government, people who get chased off porches, will not be able to resist the beautiful and slightly-stained 1970s velvet and the fleas will not discriminate, they will be grateful to feast on the train kids’ dogs. The train kids will go home to their parents when they are tired of pretending and the fleas, flying for the first time on secondhand cocaine and Xanax, armed with their absurd will to live and chronic god complexes, will inherit what’s left of the earth’s inheritance.
Beaux Neal is a poet, writer, musician, and dancer--born, raised and currently living in Atlanta, GA. Her work combines the absurd with the sentimental and examines power structures against the eternal. She has been published in her dreams and in Metatron Press and Black Telephone Magazine, and self-published a number of zines and chapbooks. Find the music she's had a hand in at lowtownofatlanta.bandcamp.com.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.