by Thomas Mundt
I awake to a chorus of wounded whales but it’s just you, moaning. Something about Old Vasily getting into The Bucket again. An unsuspecting smelter’s apprentice taking a pitchfork to the larynx. Another perfectly-good barn in ruin. Just another Tuesday night in Sievierodonetsk.
Even in your sleep you’re consoling Anichka, the Town Crier’s admin. Her blouse is bloody and her nostrils could use a solid wiping. She’s seen a lot today, from I can glean.
The cellar lock was rusty and weak, you coo, and Old Vasily has the might of a dozen Young Oleksandrs. There was nothing to be done.
Carnage unfolds in a faraway brain zone but you’re still a warm gray mass in our bed, your ass in my groin. I’m full of gratitude and Israeli couscous in this moment and all I want to do is drape a forearm over the hump of your hip and inform you that I would so go to your village right now. I want to convey my overwhelming desire to tour the house you grew up in, my need to skim your dream journals in the exact spot where the fishmonger homebirthed you. I want to spell out in explicit detail my intentions regarding our lovemaking in the shallow end of the Black Sea, down to the kind of shirt I’ll be wearing. I want to make it perfectly clear that I’ll scale the Crimeans and announce to the good people of Luhansk Oblast that one of their own just made Junior VP of West Coast Operations for a regional whirlpool/Jacuzzi supplies distributor, that you turned out to be kind and brave and inclined to tip servers and cable installers at percentages above the mean.
I want to assure you that I’ll be sensible about it, that I’ll put all of my expenses on the Good Card so we can get the Rewards Points, like we talked about the other night.
You have that AIDS Walk thing in the morning, though, so I don’t say any of these things. Instead, I roll onto my back and pretend I didn’t just hear you fart as I count the pockmarks on the ceiling. I can totally tell the prior tenants had those glow-in-the-dark stars at some point and, as my left hand wanders to its default position on my balls, I wish they were still there.
Thomas Mundt lives in Chicago, as do others. He is the author of one short-story collection, You Have Until Noon to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Lady Lazarus Press, 2011), and the father of one human boy. Read more at http://www.dontdissthewizard.blogspot.com.