Willie Smith


                The blue dahlia, the free lunch, the black tulip, the true heart. Welcome to America, Mr. Jesus – take a number, have a seat.
                The sky shines blue the world wide. We get to you by next week, fear not – ain’t no place in America to hide.
                Should the wait get to you, you have the right any time to bail. Just please, oh please – do not, on the way out, let the door you in the butt hit. Because America does give one shit. Called a box, and in it you find a check or not.
                Hey, wait a minute, Mr. Jesus (female): we already got to you – your check is in the mail. I suggest you right on out of here sail. Find a spot in the gutter delivery to await, while you fidget, fret, bite that nail.
                Hey – don’t look so pale! US Americans boast guts by the pail. As a catastrophe of fact we are the people clear back to The Flood the very richest – in blood. Furthermore, we people the dreams of more and more people worldwide.
                Welcome to America, Ms. Jesus. There, see? You never left home.


                I was washed up. Knew not where to begin, nor if to renew.
                I washed up. Sat down at a table with the dead. He was washed up, too – clean to the bone.
                The dead cracked a knuckle. Grinned: “Call it a wash!” Washed phalanges of the daymare, whistling through broken teeth “The Old Gray Mare.” Disappeared like blowfish jetted off a pier.
                I splashed bourbon into mud orbit-black. Breakfasted on fastfood dashed with horseradish.
                In the cellar of my brain, the dead sold himself as resurrected in Washington – skull capitol built on a swamp, mosquitoes huge as Hueys, Moon soon to statehood to climb.
                Rain – in a sunburst – streaked, the dead reminding his wife of her pain. She sang – whip switching her back – in gasps:
                “My skin is flayed, my nerves displayed, my topknot sports a worry wart. My feet go metric. My fingers digitalize. The heart beats in murmurs from Shakespeare Act V. When fear at the top of the stairs stares down – septum flush with pane – only then, mounting the stairs, come I alive.”
                Saracens slit the eye. Muezzins through dog whistles pierced the mist. A rainbow scimitarred, at the end a pot of horsefeathers and tar.
                I was washed up. Threw in the towel. My only hope – the dead would let the rain stop, and there would be no soap.

Willie Smith's story collection NOTHING DOING is available on Amazon.
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