Back to L. J. Denney's Artist PageTo the Artist's Page     Back to the Unlikely Stories home pageTo our home page
Over the RhineTo L. J. Denney's previous piece

Moments of Desperation

In moments of desperation
when like Kerouac said
we see what's on the end of the fork
we cry
long to curl up in the fetal position
will ourselves into nothingness
the pain of knowing
is too much

knowing that they have gone
but not why they have gone
these souls who inhabited
the most intricate patterns of our lives

in those seconds
when realization spreads over us
ketchup over fries
suicide blood
over a tile white floor

they have vanished
leaving no trace
no idea of where they went

we recognize
drop by drop
tears, sweat, time
that it is fruitless to look for them
down backstreets
dappled with white curtained
greying clapboard houses
we would just get lost anyway

it is reasonless to wait for them
should we begin digging
their graves
bury the memories
(downy and marlboros)
taste of their sweat
(salty with a pinch of ivory thrown in)
warmth of their soulflesh
against the bareback of the morning

we wait a little longer
knowing all the while
but in piteous denial
that they are like the guy
who went out for a pack of Camels
ten years ago
and never came back
or like Mike
who packed up his shit
one cool March morning
cought the bus
back to Cincinnati to get high
feel the relief from the needle
an orgasm better than any I could provide

we sit in the car
in the Kroger parking lot
feeling stupid for waiting so long
in the raw
maggot ridden floor of our souls
they are gone

sit a bit longer
in confusion
what will their passing
mean to our own lives
can we start the car and drive off
back to work
or home

with an acidic taste of finality
that this is reality for today
crimson streaked
unadulterated reality

where we have to see
what's on the end of our fork
like Kerouac said
and chew it up
and swallow
trying not to choke

To the top of this pageTo the top of this page