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Archive for August 8th, 2011

By John Grochalski

the smell of fish
gives me a dizzying sickness
in the stomach
as he sits there like a turd
legs open
elbows wide on the table
steam and stink rising up
off of his plate
the smell of fish
the scent of a dying asshole
he has one earbud is his ear
the other dangling down to his gut
1980s music infesting this small room
as he chomps away
his cellphone beeping endlessly
cackling at comics in the daily news
someone asks him to turn
his music down
he says, oh, i didn’t know that it was so loud
but he makes no attempt
to lower the sound
just shrugs and goes back
to the smell of fish
as wake me up before you go-go
chokes the silence
i grab my shit off of the table
the smell of fish embedded in my flesh
figuring i’ll go outside
to kill the hour
letting the sun do what it will to me
looking at him one last time
this steaming dung pile of american ingenuity
our eyes meet
and he says, you’re not leaving on my account, are you?
no, no, i say
i just hate 1980s music
and the smell of fish
he laughs
goes back to tearing flesh from bone
as the summer of ‘69
comes on his ipod
and i think about how easy it is
to want to commit murder
in this vast and disparate land.

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