Cajun Fries

“Fully loaded,
safety off,” the TV says.
“This here’s a recipe
for unpleasantness,” I finish.
And of course,
my brain complains
it’s an eighty-ton tank I’m using
as a toddler’s first trike.

A little harsh,
on my brain’s part,
but not too far-fetched—
after all,
as we speak
my hand’s deep in
a greasy pool
of Cajun fries
from Five Guys,
and I’m sitting here
watching late-night reruns
of Firefly.

I learned this trick
where I lean back
and take a sip
from a cup, balancing
on my chest and chin,
tipping it in toward my mouth,
slurping through the straw
without any hands.

It’s at this point
my brain cuts in
with a outraged cry of
“Why, why, why?”

“What’s wrong, brain?” I ask.

“You know,” it says.

“Yes. I do,” I sigh. I’m sick of
the sass my brain’s slinging,
so I don a seductive smile and say,
“I know how to cheer you up.”

“Yeah, right.”

“We’re gonna role-play.”

“I don’t know…”

“You do know.
You know everything.
You’re the man.
You’re a man.
You wear your chest hair proud
and drink your whiskey neat.”

“Oh?”

“That’s right, goddammit.
You walk with your
chin to the stars
and a cigar in your mouth
chopping lumber for fun
and fighting douchebags in bars.
Does that get you going? Huh?”

“Mmm, yeah, keep going.”

“You know what else?
You’re going to the gym tonight.
You’re gonna lift that barbell
to the sky and back.”

“Oh, yes, don’t stop!”

“One day you’ll wake up
with abs ribbed like the ridges
of the Rocky Mountains.”

“Oh, God, yes!”

“And that novel you’ve
been writing?
You’re gonna crank that out,
tonight.
And when it’s done,
Hemingway himself
is gonna burst from the ground
and give you the heartiest
of handshakes.”

“Oh! I think I love you!”

“Yes! And you’re gonna finish
this poem, too. And it’s going to be
<Note to self: finish this stanza>

“Uh,” my brain says. “Oh, fuck.
I think I’m done now.
That was amazing!”

I slurp down
the last fry
and wipe
my dirty fingers
on my tank top.

“Psychic, though?” the TV says,
“That sounds like something
out of science fiction,”

“We live in a
spaceship, dear,” I finish
and promptly fall asleep.

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