I got a cousin who died drowning in ranch dressing. It happens more than you’d think. Everything is a punchline. Everything is marinating in hot sauce. I myself am caked in something red.
There is a place where you are the only human, and all you can hear is the movement of your blood and the faint scratching of rats on the rafters. Down here is an entire country. Down here is an entire planet. The lowest branches are full of moles and spiders and thieves. The waves spray your face and the sting of saltwater runs down your throat. Everything here is a basic root, a foundation for other roots. You can plant yourself anywhere. Climb the trees. Is this tree love? Yes, it is. It is everything.
Love is that man on the corner with the Batman tattoo. He sells shrink-wrapped lettuce, and he smokes one cigarette after another. Somehow he is perfectly healthy.
Love is a dog. Dogs are in fact the only thing that love truly resembles. They’ve got loyalty and a funny smell.
This is how love goes. A dustcloud in your eyes, or a smear of opaque beige fluid across the motel room mirror. Filth and thickness rule the day, you bloody armadillo. Love is sweat and fungus. The bursting of a puffball mushroom, choking a kindergartener who thought it was lunch. Love is an elevator shaft filled with human phlegm and chopped up lamb hooves. It is a soft memory of someone else, running through your mind because the body remembered a moment of pleasure.
The feeling of love is unendurable, hungry for something that will never be released from within. It is the oil and the frog eggs. Love is the moment when you pick up a can of paint thinner, the fine, burning itch you felt long after the last splinter was removed.
Love is being shot in cartoon pig pajamas. I read the news, but I forget to be mad. The old woman with hair made of ants is more alive than we think. I’m not bragging.
Love is a cloud passing over you when you need another lung. It’s official. Three days to go. These are my last words. It is weeping as your father jumps into an ocean. Love is the song of a brand new, unbroken sun. It is a trash can, a billion flies, and a magic island. Love is your neighbors burning brightly on the moon, the blood in your gut, and its eruption amid the rain. It’s when you kiss me and taste like rum.
Love is palm trees and salty mornings. A bowl of fog. A train you missed. A motionless gazelle with purple eyes. Love is a harpoon misfired through your damned shoulder. You are a sheep.
You relax in the back of a pickup truck, arms spread wide. Your long hair billows in the breeze. The truck is loaded with butter, warm and strong-smelling. Your teeth are cracked and your face is softened. From town to town, the truck careens and you laugh, flicking buttery spoonfuls to the weaklings you pass on the road. Weaklings need butter.
No one sees the trouble behind the wheel. An arty amputation awaits, maybe, if that’s your thing. Your thrashing and twisting is pure instinct.
Love is the philosopher living in your basement, smelling of cougar musk. Your feet hang off the end of the mattress, and you have to wiggle them to fit.
The television has been left on Animal Planet, with an inside joke of some sort playing on the screen, but the wood-paneled room has a special quality. There’s a green stain on the carpet. This is the way love goes.
The kiss of a stranger, the cool breeze on your skin, love is this moment.
A fetid hamburger rots on my couch. A swirling demon of chains and owl beaks hovers above me. My daughter is gone.
end bug report 1