IV. At the Polyhedral Pizzeria.
At the Polyhedral Pizzeria, the restaurant in the thrift store in the plaster Roman ruins on a B-movie budget: peeling back places, unfairly priced. We climb to our raised table and keep climbing our raised chairs, guessing how offensively valued the shelved vases are because we’ve waited hours for our food. Why then are the newcomers, the group of gurgling girls, comet-tailed by a silver platter— an order they’ve barely breathed? We’re impatient partners, you and I, salivating over the next table’s salad branes— balsamic and basil, peppered tomato and mozzarella strata. At the Polyhedral Pizzeria, displaced in time and space: confusing ascension with amputation.
V. Bacteria, I Love You.
It’s Halloween, and everyone is dressed like birdwatchers and bugs; like the party that comet-tails us home, you and I. It’s hide and seek in my childhood home, and the game is on, so I tiptoe to a forbidden place. The carpet in my parents’ bedroom is very absorbent, masking what must be my Dionysian musk. My doughy footprints rise, dollar-store aphrodisiacs and hallucinogens trapped inside, as I make my way to the bathroom mirror. I drop my jaw to tell the truth, but a floral, faunal, fungal forest fogs the mirror instead. My tastebuds are microbial suburbs, each space speckled with fluorescent rooftops flashing fever green. Bubbling beneath my rolling tongue balloon verdant domes— anti-pearls, autocolonies, single-celled cities trafficked by formless terraformers. I fall to my knees at the toilet altar to flush the sinners out only to face the un-flushed stool within. In the forbidden place, it is only another mirror, overgrown with the same algal invasion. The bulbs below my tongue force open a shit-eating grimace; for if the invaders thrive on chyme, then I too must be pre-chewed. I brandish my toothbrush, scrub ‘til the mint burns like capsaicin, scrub ‘til strands of gum fall away like melting yarn. It’s Halloween, and my mouth is a madhouse; I scrub it to shine for you.
VI. A Magnanimous Funhouse.
It’s high time I threw a few back, joined the party— after all, all stay after dawn, even you. I’m a prideful partner sandwiched in sad, soggy bread, but I hope you’ll slide a slice aside to taste what’s within. You don’t investigate the state of my bleeding, bleached teeth, even after apologies about contagion in my kisses, because your lips stay closed anyways. Mine open instead for the mirror again, magnified like a magnanimous funhouse. Within my cavernous mouth, a shining celebration: silvery salivary glands unsheathing, mighty elephantine trunks in their own minuscule way. They spout their declarative amylase, faucets filling some Roman victory bath— you know, the kind Romans have. I swish around, no colonial clusters to be found, because fondant-frosted ruin is the only thing that remains. It’s high time I threw a few back, joined the party— after all, a polish only cries “the end is nigh!”