El Valiente

If I wore a labcoat I would call myself Nelson. I’d take exams and empty beakers into basins. I would work under neon lights after dusk settled into night. After the skeleton crew exited the laboratories and daydreamers parked and smashed their timecards into the slot machines I’d run to the parking lot and slash their tires. In shaving cream I would write, Daylight is not your savior.

If I slept in through the blue skies I would take an early morning shower and crawl into my clean sheets naked and aching. I would have a gin fridge and a bedside ice bucket. I would be a ghost. I would record songs on a borrowed guitar laying against the mattress in my sunless room. My name would be Anton. I would leave the door unlocked. My lost lovers would creep into my present tense.

If I tore out the pages from my books and left the machines within my house without batteries I would force myself to write things down. I would take my wallet to the gas station and buy blue pens and a spiral notebook. I would look the man in the eye and shake his oily hands until he squeezed back harder than me. I would be Kurt. I would grip doorknobs tight when I twisted them.

If I were to break my hands I would warm them in soft baths of aloe vera. I would hang a portrait of a pool above my stolen hospital bed. I would be looking down into the water’s depths from below. I would take my touchtone phone off my nightstand. I would dial until she picked up, someone like me, waiting in the dark. I will call her Josephine.