by Jonathan Emerson Hobratsch
On 24-Hour Cafes
She made a face like a Bosch painting
then a Chagall and then shattered into skittles.
No one but me ever noticed, but all my dates
end this way.
I grew blue and imbued in my confusion. The waiters
circle me cult-like and chanting occasionally—Would
you like dessert?—despite the way things were going
I did not.
Occasionally someone I know would saunter
in—Georg Trakl—walked in followed by his
shadows, which departed elsewhere
in the establishment. His eyes were like two
lava lamps. It's good that I notice these things.
I offered him a skittle. But without recognizing
me he walked into a puddle with only his hat showing.
Events like this seem so arbitrary these days. When
I'm always exposing myself to myself. I'll keep in touch.
I eat a skittle.
There is No Exit From This Scene
And upon second notice she did scream until her eyes burst into feathers. Yes. Nothing makes sense anymore, as my face melts into the coffee cup—I necessitate sugar. The music, Baroque rap, whatever that is, ascends from the floorboards through my pores and tickles the falling chandeliers. All the doors are front doors. There is no exit from this scene. The whole baroque band is pigeon-toed and a dearthworth of talent. Amidst the caterwauling and ululating organs, the walls bleed strawberry in the pattern of a strawberry. But they may be cubist roses or a surreal chrysanthemum, or a dada god-toothbrush. Doesn't taste like, no, more like the flavor of nails driven through a writhing hand. The floor spins. I inhale. All people are googly-eyed. And the electric socket serenades my nerves to catnap despite my self-control. My drool is not a peasant's drool, but to be collected on sapphire-encrusted pillows and shown to the lowing crowds beneath the looming balustrade. It's too much, all the fuzzy fat faces staring at my drool makes me blush. The corner becomes me, I become the corner, and desire more decoration. And I feel cornered and the bass is too loud and the shadows mark time across and around my frothing retinas. These feelings in my palms sweat the sweat of massacred pomegranates. How dare they disrespect me now, after making this scene. My hands forget who bears them and fondle into darkness, no, do not blame me for their sins. Ok now I will be solely internal, I'll rebuke myself. In the bathroom mirror.
Jonathan Emerson Hobratsch was born in Texas and now lives in New York City. He's currently looking at PhD programs and spends the rest of his time daydreaming.