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Football Crowd #2 — Jay Waters

 

HOW TO BE HUMAN ON A FRIDAY NIGHT

— Shawnacy Kiker Perez

Cut the grass. Take the clippings inside and make a nest. Discover that a grass nest is not

as comfortable as you had imagined. In fact, it is quite itchy. Light it on fire. Spin slowly

in the ashes of your living room drinking wine—don’t worry if some of it spills—while

listening to music of your choosing. Turn up the bass so high your skeleton throbs.

Decide to go out; catch the game and have a few beers with your boys. Realize you don’t

have any boys. Make a note to acquire some boys as soon as possible. Steal your

neighbor’s hammock. Take it to the park or the art museum courtyard, or to the roof of the

post office or a busy corner downtown. Tie it up between two trees, or two lampposts,

or two sculptures, or a mailbox and a One Way sign, or ask two strangers to hold the ends

for you. Pick up the first person to pass by and place them in the hammock. Ask them to

close their eyes and imagine they are in a boat. Ask them where the boat is taking them.

Lie underneath the hammock and be the ocean. Keep adding more people to the

hammock until it is full or someone mentions either Jupiter or Japan. These are your

secret words. When you hear them, hand out slices of cactus apple cake. Notice that

someone has begun to play music. Dance together. Hug and kiss your passengers. Tell

them they are here. They have made it. Give them whatever they need for their new life.

Including money. Watch them spread across the world like a garden. Like new weather.

Pee in a bush. Never return.

 

Shawnacy Kiker Perez holds a BA in Spanish Literature and an MFA in creative writing. Editor of the online cultural conversations journal Charge Magazine, Shawnacy teaches English and Spanish at the university level. Her work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, and her chapbook of poetry, Untitled States, was published in 2018 by Dancing Girl Press.

Jay Waters walked away from a good job in order to teach in college and do other things, including photography and writing. Yearns to be a well-travelled Southerner. Believes in the coincidence of life, light, and camera. Old enough to know better. Jay is currently on the advertising faculty at the University of Alabama, and lives in McCalla, Alabama.

 
 

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