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From Soft Gun, 2016:

Failure of helicopters to mind their own damn business:

Her foot catches on the threshold and she almost loses it. These steps are sized wrong for drunks. Somehow I catch her and stand her up. Oh shit, she says, squeezing the hell out of my arm. That was so close. I light cigarettes for us, which is the reason we are here in the first place. We smoke and laugh about falling down, and broken teeth, and other things that aren’t funny. It’s not long before a news helicopter flies over. It tears up the night with its oversized lawnmower engine. Those things are even more grating than the new flat-screen TVs mounted above the bar, spewing their crap. I hate the news, I say. They only come here to take stuff that doesn’t belong to them and point out things that are terrible and sad. Fuck the news, she says. I nod and smoke and look at her face. I can’t remember if it was so puffy before. There was one night when it was snowing. We left footprints all the way to her stairs. I guess her dog had opinions about me. He barked about everything and I worried that he would snap off my balls so I held them with one hand as I felt my way through the dark with the other, skimming the walls, trying to locate her restroom. Then her cat came out of hiding and swiped my shin. I really didn’t mean to kick it. Back in bed, with all that lint and shed hair, I bled into her sheets. We shared more drinks, and our tongues got so dry. Later still, I forgot. I really have no idea how it all went or what it was like with my head against her chest, or dipped between her legs. I know I have other problems besides forgetting. I need to try harder to get through the night with some shred of self-respect. So what if she is ready to do it all again — whatever it was? I am not sure about dragging my tongue over any part of her. If I could only remember the good reasons not to. Two blocks away, the helicopter moves lower and shines its light. It’s ruining the dark. The cameras are probably rolling too. After all there is misery to collect. I make a pistol with my hand. I take aim. Pow! I shoot it out of the sky. Too bad you don’t have a real gun, she says.



From Turning Blue, 2016 with art by Graem Whyte. This is a copy of the center page.