the battle roared across the sky like
an epic Sanskrit in the palm of a hand,
folded tightly with a beginning and
an impending ending.
the gods were beautiful
with glowing white skin,
their hands grappling tridents
falling across their chests were
necklaces littered with skulls.
the demons clashed the tridents with their
clawed hands, fingernails the size of Rhode Island,
and bulging eyes fixed on their opponents.
the demons were grey, their skin veiny and taut,
the yellow in their eyes like lightning
in the black sky.
and the men sat in a large circle, in front of their homes
and bars and football fields,
in lawn chairs and lazy boys and stoops and bar stools,
huddled in a circle with filled coolers,
and they drank and commented on the battle
with eyes that were white,
with mouths clung to a glass or bottle,
with ears listening to each other.
“the gods are winning” one says.
“no, it’s the demons. did you see the way he
pulled out that god’s eye?”
“yeah but the rest of the gods are too strong”
“no, I would bet on the demons”
“well I’d bet on the gods”
and the gods and demons continued their battle,
the sky lit up with a war like no other,
and the men sat and drank and talked of epic war
like it was a common sport.
a man that had been quiet says,
“I hope the gods win”
the one for the demons asks “why?”
“well, I don’t want my women to be like the demons”
“well, I don’t want my women to be like the gods”
the one on the lazy boy says
“I don’t want them to be like either”
a barstool man chimes in,
“I want my women to be like the gods in the kitchen
and like the demons in bed”
and they laugh.
and the sky bursts with violence.
and they drink.
the gods grab the upper hand,
pulling demons into the sky,
they obliterate them
one by one.
“I told you the gods would win”
“It’s not over yet”
“Give it up, evil will be a thing of the past,
we can go to the grocery store without the
fear of getting robbed,
or pump gas after midnight”
“Well if the demons win you could
get a ****** and lie to your wife without
guilt, without remorse, with a smile on
“And how will my wife be acting?”
the demons stir and pull away,
they race across the sky as the gods pursue,
the tridents launched into clouds,
the demons laugh and gather.
a man on the stoop says;
“what if no one wins?”
the one for the gods says,
“someone has to win”
“well, what if they **** each other off”
he laughs, “the gods won’t let that happen”
“they may not have a choice”
the demons rally and rip tridents
away from the gods,
and use them on the gods,
and force the gods to retreat.
“I told you! the gods are going to die!”
“no, they have them just where they want them!”
the battle continues.
a violence like no other.
a sky like no other.
the men drink and look at each other.
“don’t let the gods fool you,
they won’t give up”
“the demons are attacking,
they have the tridents!”
as the battle ensues,
a man in a lawn chair,
watches the battle closely,
he doesn’t favor either side,
he enjoys the fair fight,
he takes a long sip and says
“why should we care if they **** each other?
we may be better off,
left will no longer battle right,
the ocean and beach won’t battle each other for the tide,
the sky and ground won’t battle for the horizon,
the moon and earth won’t battle for the sun,
up won’t battle down,
male won’t battle female,
synonyms won’t battle antonyms,
employees won’t battle bosses,
classical music won’t battle rap,
democrats won’t battle republicans,
you get my point”
a man on the stoop says
“that’s what I’m talking about!”
and the gods pull their tridents from the demons,
and the demons tuck their claws into their chests,
and they both look down at the men,
then they look at each other,
and the men finish their drinks and turn
to leave without ever getting anywhere.