Ramadi – Megan Graves

On Tuesday legs open bend up force body out lay position to stand make walk head lying sideways corner back and forth wobble basement pipes steam heat forward up flow into radiator grate thumping noise kids stomping outside street road sidewalk up the block concrete storefront man smoking speak Chinese can’t see hear understand me alone in bed I woke up then again back to sleep dream 7 hour sleep cycle muttering bad thoughts to myself infantile nightmares black skeletal hairy tendrils worm into cracks between my walls and the floor and whisk me away to the death zone with red hot smoldering fire and a second in there is an eternity in here and the worst part of it is you don’t ever get to wake up open eyes get out of bed walk into kitchen, okay bathroom now face up to the mirror, you can see your teeth they’re yellow bathroom light illuminates teeth stains in front of your mom ought to see this world war 9 outside window close it open up laptop okay screen’s bright see it take it look it right now everything all you want in there forever never run out maybe brush later wash face towel mop dread dead skin cells aging face 32? 45? 59? 67 89 dead
Big fat eye anime girl pop open mouth eat rice ball. Laugh smile itchy tingles in your skin like no real kid could ever make you do. Your heart aches in a good way, life isn’t really like this.
In the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant he folds towels and articulates his fingers and twists and coils them around the little creases in the dish towel and pushes them through it and in the dining area like telepathy a guest is typing cloth friction noises into his Twitter account. A notification pings and the sound lights up the border of the windowway into my own kitchen, I notice because I’m in the bath pouring hot oil into the water when the sound reverberates through the tile walls into the cochlea of my ears. I lumber my bone-thin, furry body out of the bathwater and make dizzying steps up toward the tiny infinitesimal space of the kitchen. I point my finger at the wriggling microscopic organism floundering on the edge of the sink and say “You did this!! You! It was you!! None of this would’ve happened if not for you!!”
In between the window blinds I’m watching my neighbor jab his finger downward in the air at some spot on his sink. I don’t know what he’s on about, but I’m staring for too long and eventually I hear the syrupy voice of my wife who’s currently adjusting a lamp in the kitchen to point directly at her crotch while she brooms the floor naked. Would she ever realize she’s too old to be doing the cat ear dinky dinky Jap girl routine? sugar sweet shaking her ogre white butt for men who don’t know any better about the haggard rot of the old empty egg carton holding on to the economic viability of aesthetic corpus callosum heart excitement.
I eat I move I eat I get stuck I see light I move I move I move I see black I move back back back back back I turn I move forward I see light I eat. I eat I move I swing my tail I eat I move I move I move I stop.
She was and old woman 19 years old when others called after her name was badly worded injunction of two crossed bars up on the wall of the cathedral open. If 50 years passed no one would notice her aging for the house was empty except for the cat who stretched his whiskers out across the walls of the staircase, his fuzz texture you could feel in pleades across the basement floor and corners and stolid, paper decrees of multitext hyperlinks emerge from the typewriter rippon of the basement laundry. The instradistinctal woes of the TV playing Game Over title animation powers through the black ephemera of the darkened cellar into her nostrils, up into her ears through the eye canal, back to the mouth out comes “Ahhhhh, nice.”
Well, when the webcam flips on we don’t see any of that. Upstairs her daughter opens up her stream with 9 males already in sacrosanct admonition away from the aforementioned “simp brigade” the siren of the police already on the way down past the Chinese restaurant where the owner is folding towels up the wire transfer block transgressing forebearers like the man pointing at his cousin on the sink.
At sunset the white trash carnival opens up with syrup snow cones in the glow of incandescent decorative Christmas lights on the rides chilling out kids hands gripping them tight to bade the apprehension of talking to the girl with a chubby butt in the looney tunes t-shirt. I’m 14. I’m in the hallway. I’m in the bed. I’m under the floor. I’m in the kitchen. I’m in the yard. Cinderella girls the IDOLM@STER green eyes throat facemask peacoat sneaker socks chubby bbw ssbbw fat laying down eyes open wide don’t move look at it nice and hard huh now get down open your mouth okay just slide in okay she’s looking okay c’mon c’mon
i’m soft wait fuck you fuckin’ *smack* BITCH wait WAIT look look at the wrinkled panties hanging off the doorknob look at the dirty shit-smelling socks on the floor look at the wall look at the ceiling look at the window look at the grass look at the little flowers in the grass, the weeds that your mom grabs and yanks out of the ground now look at me. Look at my fat stupid ugly face