August 14 Ali

EMISSARIES FROM ALL OVER nestle into cool slopes and settle on tattered blankets in a patchwork of sour, sore humanity. The tableau begins at once as actors encounter themselves "there," where a passion will take place that none know the precise dimensions of but all can intuit. From far off it looks like a mastodon of mud; then, closer, the corpus of a decomposing beast, the highway ingress like splayed leg or broken wing.

The dust from parched valley kicks up exaggerated expressions by settling on brows and cheekbones, coalescing on dry and spongy gums in fierce-looking delineations of skeletal teeth. It is all as it should be. It is anxious. It is remote. The movements and emotions of the disconsolate creatures indicate a removal from the usual plane of invidious captivity into an element of subsumption by a broader design the likes of which has been absent for millennia. They perpetuate their behavior in a machinery unsympathetic to ambitions of vice or virtue; without sympathy, without sense whatsoever. It is merely time for each to surrender agency to the process occurring at their expense. Forsaken. Unaware.

A girl removes her shirt and likes the reaction she gets, takes off the pants too. So oppressive, this skin she has been compelled by society and other ills to don every day with never license to molt except for brief sojourns under the shower head. Here is a correct inclination, to obey the blistering bullhorn in her head and show us how stodgy we have been. Likely all will follow suit and defrock. Feel the generous breeze as it buffets her bare breasts, slips icy fingers between her boogying thighs. Her clothes are lost in the crowd. She rubs her legs together like a cicada, twirls gypsy hands above her head in a gesture of supreme vulnerability.
An Angel polishing his bike guffaws and throws her an oily rag.

Here comes a reveller beaming with bottled-up secrets and a benevolent wish: "Sunshine, try my sunshine." A tablet changes hands and is no sooner taken than tucked in to sleep. It has been a long trip to tongue and now it will slip past the trachea and surrender to ingestion and corporeal diffusion. Molecules trouble blood, storming artery and synapse. "The first is free," says the blue-bonneted Mercury, "after that it's on the tab tallied by Satan." General hilarity.

Make them find Satan. It's magical but everyone does, the secret curtain that flutters.



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