S (browse/bulk edit)

Tadgh O'Criomhthain

S has been shown to stave off dementia but only at the expense of unparalleled madness, particularly if what you take is not-S, some apocryphal and undocumented root or malign compote, pestled and rubbed into your head wounds with the ginger animus of a laughing lady or the saccharine angst of diabetic ice-cream models.

Cover your face in good Vaudeville measure and wonder what it is about a marriage that often goes flat when threesomes demand larger primes and years go unturned, simmering in pans of hot fat.

She does like you, though, your ruby mane of acne; she presses on them at night, those elevator buttons to nowhere, wondering if your smile will float when you plummet.

I don't know if I should take S again because my fists always strike their mark, slightly off center, scarcely hitting anything. There is a lucent gild to shower curtain mold that refracts shadows and bends them into draconiform templates that I smear with soap to clean in a pattern that threatens what remains.

She reminds me that my calvous forehead stands on its toes against the rest of my head, blocking the spill of pheromones and putting her girl parts in a sullen ponder.

I have a scrivener's way of documenting her face wrinkles. I'll point to them on my ledger and she'll quickly pull her face taut with her hands. Her skin is like the skin enveloping the belly of a clipped and fly-strewn roadside ungulate, wavering behind the pall of corpse gas and diffracted light, a smear of borrowed lipstick.

Stop it, you malaprop Chinaman, I say. This discomfits her faux Midwestern Tiananmen way of dancing over my small talk. And then she swats at the air with karate chops she could have gotten from any misprint picture book on stage combat and I dance, my eyes focusing on the space in between her lips where the yelling comes out. Her arm hair floats like corn silk and reminds me of autumn.

You are giving me a flare up, she says, demanding her flare up medicine. She lands a chop against the side of my neck.

I gave her a wobbling bag of martlets for our six month anniversary; I thought she might use them for that ‘coat-of-arms’ shadow box she’d been mentioning. Her hand whistled ungratefully as it threw every one into the closet, for later. I wanted to retract my hand bones up through my arms so that when I took a swing at her it would be perceived as playful badinage, the whipping of pink scarves.

I paid a twenty to my martlet guy in the hallway; keep ‘em coming, I said.

Hope burns with a xanthic curl of smoke until otherwise labeled on the white hot junction box of her encouragement zone.

Dear, the dompteuse has arrived!

She sometimes has the medianic wherewithal to chronicle future fumblings and then, after they occur, to chastise me for lethargy in the face of retrospective foreknowledge. You find this unfair.

Regarding the bedroom, I am ground-to-ceiling nude white lightning; her eyes are yellow fog lamps burning away the seeping moorish fog of foreplay. She dozes in a weather all her own.

I make rainbows on the malacoid filigree of her thighs which she then effaces as she sleepwalks away without vocabulary.

The davenport shoulders the dompteuse you hired to domesticate the capybara we purchased for a song at the terrier rescue, and so she sings, with a great flapping of mouth, and makes you wear a cowboy hat for wrangling soda and merlot from the drinks cupboard.

She shakes a smile from a dearticulated jaw, somehow. She smiles with every tooth at once and her molars are the bottoms of flowerpots that used to grow pretty things on her insides.

Juxtaposed to my own flickering light cone is Tomás’s light come which extends and jangles brightly and occasionally falls upon hers, which has a sideways lean that makes a mockery of my entire horizontal event space, sending entangled messages to my past about the unlikelihood of my present, which is kind of a fucking downer, smearing the claphound of my entire ontology onto some scotopic future's inevitable burnt biscuit.

Can he paint rainbows with his left hand, this Tomás? Probably, she says. Can you?, I ask.

Tomás works at a hardware store-slash-delicatessen and has fit calves that teem with promiscuous self-regard. Doubtless he is a pachyglossal hammer-jockey of limited swing; nevertheless, he has her eye and to hear tell he sells a mean sandwich, slices a mean pastrami.

The dompteuse has festooned the capybara with education and so he now looks at me for diversion, getting in my face and squeaking aphorisms in the language of rewinding cassette spools.

I should take another dose of S, she blinks.

We should take S together and so stave an epistemology of oranges from rolling out of our armpits and into the open mouths of sleeping pirates.

Take S alone and use the orange basket instead, or close your arms as might a man shimmying through the walls of a dark stalag with oranges.



The dompteuse has gone. Tomás is oppressed by shadow.

My martlet guy is beating on the buzzer. He slides my screaming fake orange ‘twenty’ under the door. I step on his hand when he reaches for my feet.

Things are beginning to go sour now that the S is gone, I say.

And now we have no oranges either….

And the capybara, bloated with merlot and frenzy, seeks respite and a sense of object permanence by snuffing at your groin….

And I have concerns of my own, she says, now that the bathroom wall has fallen backwards into my lover’s light.

Tadgh O'Criomhthain lives in Baltimore. He has been published in Everyday Genius. He is currently finishing up his first book, ‘unknown categorical’..