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Jason Howell Jul 2015
PLAY FOOTBALL ON FRIDAY THROUGH MUD AND THROUGH SOOT, wake up the next morning you're missing a foot. Hop yourself through a hoop game, your Saturday's grand, wake up Sunday morning with only one hand. On Sunday you're crying, these thoughts you despise. Monday rolls around, you've lost one of your eyes. On Monday you eat comfort food for relief. Go to brush Tuesday morning―bare gums with no teeth.

What's happening here? Oh what sorcerer's curse? One foot and one hand you could handle at first. You dare not speak words lest your mandible burst. And you mustn't have ***. (Losing THAT'd be the worst!)

So you lock down all actions, your life paralyzed, but there go your earlobes, biceps, hair, and thighs. By evening on Thursday you fear you'll be dead. One week to the day you wake only a head.

So you roll down the stairwell and "head" for the doctor. When you pass by the park children use you for soccer. Deflated and bruised, when you roll by the courts, the basketball kids rub your face on their shorts.

At last the Doc's office! You wish you had cancer! At least in that case there'd be some easy answer. Doc looks at you sideways. He's smug and quite snotty. "Just what would you like sir, a prosthetic body?" He writes a prescription for pain medication―shoves the script in your mouth as he calls his next patient.

You roll down the boulevard, scalp over chin, back to your apartment to let death set in.

Arriving at home with the pills in your mouth, you find you're not alone, someone's there on your couch.

Your Father! Your Father!

He says Hello, Head.

But this can't be your Father 'cause your Father's dead! This can't be your Dad. Look his eyes are aflame! And he just called you "Head." Your real Dad knows your name.

He sees you're no dullard (though battered and weak). His skin changes color as he starts to speak:

I'm the first fallen angel. I equate with upheaval. You know me as Lucifer: Master of Evil. It is I who enacted this tragic infection. See one week ago Jesus pulled his protection. All evidence says that the Lord thinks you've sinned. I know not your transgression―that's between you and Him. But for some unknown reason He's left you exposed, and to exploit this new opening I am predisposed.

So let's make a deal! Acceptance makes you whole! The price is quite nominal, (you guessed it) your soul! I'll restore your body. You'll forever be proud! You'll be richer, more handsome, and better endowed! You'll have women, a mansion, the respect of your peers, remain youthful forever, wisdom beyond your years. And if you decline, well,  for you, that's a loss: to be the main ingredient in my 'Special Eternal One-Eyed Head Soup with Maggot Sauce.'

So what do you say? The decision is yours. A millionaire's life or worms eating your pores?

You think of your Father. How he raised you in church. The love of your Mother. How she valued good works.

Then you think of your body. You were an athlete, a dancer.

So you open your mouth and give Satan his answer.
Hit me up if you want to read more. This story runs pretty long.
Jason Howell Jul 2015
Here in the capitol
of lowercase relations
your drink is holding
yard sales for you.

Among headstones is a table, a lock, a plate of cucumbers
and salamanders (which can be pickled), a bowl of raisins --
a handful -- skating the bowl's concavity,

trying to

become round.

If a condition of space travel was one could nevermore return,
how many astronauts do you think
there'd have been?

More stars in lawschool than the cosmos.

Somewhere there's a story
of Indians singing
instead of pointing and laughing
when the Pilgrims came
and the Atlantic dropped off
into the earth's crust behind them. You see

pickles can't become cucumbers again. Everyone who died
drunk driving in World War II knows that.

But still

ovens dream of one day being iceboxes,
and the ice cubes all know this
and it makes them sweat.

— The End —