from Days of the God-Sized Brains

— Jennifer Metsker

Those days still hover, a parcel of air where the radiator still clangs and red light still pours and the man bends down to check the wiring and sucks in the banging ghost just before the building burned down. And the hospital rooftop, that graveled container of tubes like the brains I almost blew. What does it mean to be arrested, to identify yourself in a line up? I need to return to that bundle of air above that burnt corner to retrieve some lost items, but God can’t remember what he gave me.

Appetite suppressants cannot help the lack of wish fulfillment happening deep in the warehouse district. Now the undertaker has arrived carrying his case of knives, carving up a cross-stitch pattern he copied from the underside of leaves. Where did my self esteem go? Into the green things? Into the slippery green? I prefer the ladies, those fast girls in limousines, straddling their daddies. Show me a man who holds my bags but doesn’t burn. Oh, wait, there he is. But I can’t seem to manage the size I am now. These god-sized brains, these god-sized brains.

You want to know what it’s like? Lightning bugs that cannot fly sleeping in a coal mine. Forest fires, blackened trees, but what ignites cannot be fathomed by fixing home appliances. Ahead in the darkness, otherwise known as my twenties, the light at the end of the tunnel comes on with a clap! Now I’m standing at the threshold, one step in, one step out, one step in again. The problem isn’t unhappy endings. It’s too many happy endings with no place to begin.

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