By rolling together gray hairs, capers, nettles, & tuna in a page ripped from an old tabloid. A tube seared into existence from burnt dust & browned butter. It’s smokable, non-lethal, not habit forming, & doesn’t count as a relapse when used. Approved by your local priest, NA sponsor, & weirdly violent straight edge kid. No risk of throwing up on a stranger’s carpet or dangling from a set of Christmas lights. To be enjoyed while watching the Giants lose in Philly. To help adults forget that the children they raise will also dream of throwing themselves down the stairs. To make myself just loose enough to tattoo the words “Birds fly because they want to fly.” on my ribs & just unstressed enough to check out the new anime my sister is into. I need to believe in something again. These days, I only pray for the checks to clear. I have owed someone a new carpet for quite some time.
J.C. RODRIGUEZ is a writer from Long Island. His work has appeared in places like Waxwing, Barrelhouse, Meow Meow Pow Pow, and Brooklyn Poets. He is currently a first-year MFA candidate at Syracuse University & a slush adventurer for Interstellar Flight Press. Find him online at https://brownmoon.rip/.
Art: “Birds of Paradise” by Angelica Esquivel, Hand-Carved Stamps on Origami Paper