Becca Yenser is a recent New Mexican transplant by way of Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in Paper Darts, Metazen, > kill author, Filter Literary Journal, and is forthcoming in HOOT. Her newest writing can be found at inknode.com/users/beccayenser.
When I press the alarm code into the machine, it is 1:30 in the afternoon. I hope it turns off. I heard those sirens are designed to scramble your mind.
I see that the cook has left me a note on the whiteboard: cilantro, sirloin, limes, eggplant, cock.
This time of day is all muscle. I round my shoulders like a horse. I string my ropy forearms up to the day-glo light of the cooler, to be resurrected.
There is always something to try to find forgiveness for.
It’s a skinny sun afternoon, so I pull my mourning shades up only halfway. I sprinkle chairs on the sidewalk like confetti.
The important thing to remember is two sugarcubes for a margarita, not just one. People are here to have a good time. You are the party, remember?
By the time Greg gets here, I’ll be beaten down already. All the things I touch will break. The TV will bounce to royal blue. Alabama Shakes will static into sadness.
Greg arrives promptly. His cancer is bleeding. His phone needs me to hold it. He brings new friends each week: tanning-bed man, his terrible wife, the guy who sits at the bar and chews.
It’s a good place to wait for the day to end, for the years to punch to a clean finish. It’s a fine day to chip off the icy heads of the kegs with my bare hands. To bleed my knuckles into boiling water.
Once I appealed to the cook to smoke me out. I saw then that the horseshoe bar was really an aquarium. All the red faces pushed up at me, hot and pleading. And I, the fish.