Guess what? - Heather Phillipson
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From the get-go, we went along with the whopping scam. The whole planet looked like food, and all its muddy creatures our handy/cosmic pizza. We ate hungrily, because eating resembles hunting and hunting resembles love, and we just loved the heat-up-wipe-clean induction hob. We were hell-bent on love. Or our shoddy but realistic guesstimate.
Sex, sex, sex was reliable. Walking along corridors, filling holes with plaster, Bankers Automated Clearance Services, this was sex. Restocking our mouths was sex. Stapling documents was sex. Automated weaponry was sex. Locking and unlocking doors was sex. A particularly satisfying variant involved long-distance chat with no physical contact.
Who am I trying to kid? Excuse me while I peel my banana.
But we did have a trick up our sleeves. Putting it all down to remote control, piloted from thousands of miles away, we could shrug off common feelings like the common cold. We could pump iron.
I’ll simply die if I don’t.
Duct tape, crude oils, minerals + multi-vits! Anxiety came as standard, or was it anticipation or a frisson of isolation? Quite apart from being indoors, mainly, quite apart from checking the forecast, quite apart from managing the mailbox, we had the wave of the future rushing under our weakening thighs. We spent years pressed to the chest of boredom/waiting, then kerpoW! a crematorium.
Motion is exhausting. It’s a gutsy thing to keep feeling the world’s movements.
And that’s not really the problem anyway. There was something in the brushwork of FuckYeahNails! that reminded us of the brutal interfaces. Leopard-print lacquer was revised repeatedly. Women in face-masks attended to our chipped outer-layers. O THANX! we verbalized, because prevention of flaking was tantamount to love-making.
Do you l.o.v.e the sound of trembling in late September?
And then the handle came off my bicycle, right there in my hand, all slithery! Down I went, nosing tarmac, about-to-snuff-it, alone with a road-sign. !But what’ll happen to the wet kiss never slapped on his hot lips? !I hadn’t been meaning to go on about the sliminess of our situation! !How many handbags I loved and lost! !Don’t dead bodies belong to others? Slouched like a bleeding ulcer on a thirsty highway, I saw larvae collecting around the pre-rotten innards. I saw my physical make-up, proportions balanced like an aerated chocolate bar with mint polyps. It wasn’t easy to breathe, as usual.
Then I survived. But I hate all that BS. Language is like teeth, which, before we let language appear, were for murdering or caressing. They too have celebrations and die.
A dentist weeps for the rubble scratching our molars.
That’s why we get so behind, the daily mega clean-up. Water, thank god, screams like brainwaves and, when it can manage it, floods a person’s surfaces with no traces.
Then there’s the other side of the argument. Our underpants are shrinking, partly because we’re in them too deep, like the contracting continents. After the saturation and the clingy fabrics, wow the circulation bubbles like butter! And melts away.
unpublished poem, © Heather Phillipson 2015, used by permission of the author.