I scarf the promise

of a latter-day whatever

pushing my soul to gluten

while nitrates weep

for vegan burritos

everything mingled, boiling

it’s all very how I met your mother

i.e. Taco Tuesday on Fox News

oil spills rebranded as charcuterie

the unavoidable erection

when someone types “hella”

in the subreddit 

hypnotically exquisite gymwear    

a devastating compilation

of unsavory truths, like 

my bad about the seasonal pop-up

forever doomed to solitude 

because stealing White Claws

is part of my algorithm

I mean, real talk

the blue tumor

is a one-star disaster hon

but at least you still got

that biblical flesh, amirite?

the body dies, but energy survives

as part of energy everywhere

minus the catharsis

of having ditched every Uber

the dire optimism of your data plan

rivers of magnanimous spittle

from your favorite college coach

when you breathe insecticide  

your dead pets remember strawberries

on their timelines

& flocks of carburetors 

belt out Monsanto’s greatest hits

(“my country jizz of thee-e!”)

it’s all very bill & ted’s bogus journey

minus Keanu

a pathetic yet beautiful experience

under the auspices

of clinical indifference

& ritual humility

meaning, the umpteenth jihad

will be fought

with 3-D printed baubles spewed bi-weekly

across the fruited plain, baby

& everyone will forget

my mid thirties

explaining coke hangovers as subgenres 

to pigeons with imposter syndrome   

pretending that group chats are everywhere

seriously: don’t flirt with me

I’ll violate your sunscreen bottles

commit faux cyberattacks

in the name of uncontrollable giggles

& what remains

of my memory foam

become the oligarch of your mouth

(my barometer for desire

is a colossal fuck-up)

& wash your pancreas all night

in the ambient surf pop

of retrofitted gloryholes

doing the dot-commer’s viscous work

the one-way troll

toward the low places

Lord knows it’s vital

but even so, please repeat:

los angeles is not a song anymore

new york is not a taste anymore

new york is a not

where dreams of security deposits             

dance in your head

& ensnare my filth-pumping heart, okay

the party is leaking

it’s like, poverty of spirit or something

a frosted vibrator in a hospice bed

the sensation of sinking

that no longer exists

because the science nerds have collapsed

with the boats & the birds

& the clipped little waves

everything fracked to pieces

by drone-snapped athleisure bros

because there is no happiness in nature

only a form of sabotage

you can unmute

a barely imaginable placebo bubble

where mountains unravel by the hour

the prairies ache for enemas

the rodeos moan for Ikea & Chapstick

& the instant ecstasy

of Seamless overdose

where the panopticon is an octopus emoji

it’s all very came in like a wrecking ball

as in, the burrito descends

chauffeuring every disconnected impulse

on amber waves of anxiety

& lilac hand sanitizer

for the next blood orgy

the cuisine of utility

lurking in the wanton cellophane

of every heterosexual capitalist landscape:  

unafraid to divulge insulin 

these condiment bars fill

with succulent marrow

& when it drips

it will smell like me

Chris Vola is the author of six books, most recently I is for Illuminati: An A-Z Guide to Our Paranoid Times (William Morrow, 2020). His writing appears in places like The Rumpus, The Brooklyn Rail, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Monkeybicycle, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and PANK, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives and bartends in Manhattan.   

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