AN ODE TO FORGETTING TO WRITE YOUR ETHICS PAPER DUE TO EATING AN UNHOLY AMOUNT OF CRAB RANGOON
I’ve not yet done
the paper due at midnight!
I’ve been so occupied, eating
rangoons — !!!
YET AGAIN, I AM BESTED BY SWEDISH SCHOOLCHILDREN
Engulfed by the storm,
I earn myself a case of hypothermia:
in bed for three days & three nights.
As my father would’ve said:
When you play stupid games,
you earn stupid prizes.
My mother says something also,
but it is muffled by the rain
blasting the world into halves.
Such a journey, and for what?
Coffee—in this economy?
(I gesture about the room,
sure the laugh track is not directed
at my rectangular backpack
made to prevent Swedish schoolchildren
from developing back problems.
It all hurts; am I weaker than Swedish children? Damn.
They leave their children out in the snow
Asleep with fragile artworks of ice
on their fresh cheeks
I dared once to catch a snowflake on my tongue,
only gaining sting of acid carried over
from the string of factories about town.
With paprika? Yes, with paprika,
so much so it dyes the meat red
soaked up from the sauce
I grew up on eggs and beans, yeah,
those that sprout from
dirt to crackling sky, damp like clay
red like sauce, red like flags
on your father’s porch that horrible year
we share a plate of avian beast
I mean chicken breast, I mean terror
I mean frowning and drowning and all other
terrible things that come from smoke
and singe and sage advice
your mouth blotted with color:
“Tastes great,” I hand you the kitchen towel
and we haven’t said anything since.
W.C. Perry (they/them) is a writer from Chillicothe, Ohio. Their work has appeared in Meat for Tea, GRIFFEL, Taco Bell Quarterly, Night Picnic, the first BULLSHIT anthology, and elsewhere. To contact this author, burn a candle on a starless night and scream into the nearest cornfield—they’ll get back to you eventually—or if that’s too much work, on Twitter and Instagram @remotecatalyst.