Hot Meat

I met somebody loud and beautiful two nights ago smoking a cigar in the parking lot of a hibachi place. I said “be right back,” pretended I forgot something in the car, and took a break from the party to watch his breath. He exhaled spider webs, hands all pink like raw meat. When I told him that, he said, “We’re all just sacks of skin, aren’t we?” and laughed like a sparkler fuse. He used to be a philosophy major but switched to business because you gotta earn a living.

I drank some wine last summer, stripped down to my underwear and lay on my front porch like a sugar cookie in the oven. Cars whooshed by, some real slow. My shut eyes swam with colors and I began to feel like hot meat. My neck was a mosque and the convex of my belly was a stained glass cathedral. The pick-up trucks that honked their horns were playing it hymns. My thighs were skin and tissue stretched out over the gray porch. My thighs were all mine. When the neighbor boys came out sweating from their jugulars with basketballs tucked under their arms like tiny planets, I considered the possibility that I am nice meat. For some reason, it didn’t matter that day at all.
The business major peered at me through shattered glasses. He was cool but he reminded me of a small animal. He belonged in the hundred-acre wood. He needed a Christopher Robin to love him. His breath was unreal.

He started confessing personal things about a girl named Emma who never listened when he wrote her songs on the guitar and I know I should have listened to make up for Emma’ negligence but I could not stop staring at the enamel on his teeth. It was streaky, like he could maybe benefit from a crest white strip, or was I somehow missing a larger point? Did the business major want his words to unwrap themselves from imperfect packages?

On Sunday I ate a man’s body and drank his blood. So did the whole room; then we all shook hands and wished each other peace. The body is an imperfect package but what about the blood? When I cut my legs shaving I stick Band-aids on them and they become civilized. Blood is made of wine and holy spittle. Bodies taste like wafers. They are civilized. Jesus is a hemophiliac. He has been bleeding for over two millennia.

I sat in your favorite bookstore in a square of sunlight the size of a fist. I never saw you. I read a book and inside my stomach there was a windmill powering every turn of every page. You kept crawling out the corners of my eyes then turning into strangers.

Every person is an animal and we are all scratching at doors for each other. We act like we don’t want anyone to notice- our breath so supersaturated in the cold that it could float balloons over buildings on command, but we do. We want them to.