saturday night kicks (a proximity to death)

by Arran James

the basement bar across from the art college
all the young and hopeful hipsters gathered to mull over the next great movement
or to forget themselves in booze. balloons floated on every table weighted down
by jelly beans. it was someone’s birthday.
we stood in the shadowed alcoves unable to find a seat
and in the most confidential tones we could find competed against the jackson five
come blaring from all sides. and he said to me she lay dying
while we speak, refusing all fluids and refusing to eat. do you know any tricks
that might save her life? i took a drink and shuffled on my feet,
shook my head and told him no. the night went on. we found refuge in theories
and in discussing the little happinesses we’d found; the distance of the
boys we were from the men we had become. but eventually still impotent, still tiny,
still afraid of monsters-

just their names that have changed.