Insomnia / 15 August 2001

No sleeping that night, a lethal combination of his cousin’s coffee-infused steakburgers and the unfightable and unpleasant sensation of floating on what he thought of as the skin of the earth, thin and porous, sickly soft, and him unable to make any sudden moves, like for example flinging himself off the uncomfortable foldout bed and stretching his crooked back and crying out in tangled frustration, because an errant elbow or knee could easily puncture that skin and then there’d be trouble for the earth, hemophiliac, wan, and so he lay motionless all night, arms by his side, so goddamn hot, wondering at the periodic thumps from the Ritadas upstairs, wondering if he turned on his side would it send ripples across town, to the little house huddled away from the street, its mailbox out like a hitchhiking thumb, or over the Palaces, jostling his sister awake, his mother (was she leaving this weekend?), Meredith in her narrow bed that basically woke up the neighborhood if you even looked at it the wrong way, probably curled up with that hairy singer assuming her psychopath father was out on his Friday bender, which was a safe assumption, across America, the girls waiting and disappointed at Paxton College, out to sea, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Ottoman Empire, Alexander & Bucephalus, the hand-chopper, maybe even his own father, somewhere, wandering, maybe it was bright and cool there, maybe trees had giant leaves that required machetes, maybe snakes were grabbed by hand, the life squeezed out of them, maybe thrown on gigantic bonfires, poked at with sticks, alien oceans crashing, desolate, khaki, ragged pockets, barefoot, also exceptionally tall, maybe, and maybe.

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Joshua Green Allen

Fireland is a rickety old website by Joshua Allen.

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