SOULS AT ZERO • by E. W. Boget

Yesterday, we were brothers, here together: heads resting on the curved back of the sofa. Music pounding like brutal fists. Ragged lyrics burning the deep corners of our eyes where the tear ducts are.  I want to hate you but I love you too much. Not that fluffy girly cotton candy type of love. No, I love you like I love my leather jacket. All black and cracked. Painted up. Studded. I love you like I love my hand or that piece of skin above my heart. I love you without thinking, without analyzing, without a pause or an indrawn breath.

This is my favorite part; the bridge. And then back again with the refrain. Can you feel it? The gnomic transcendence of rage. Cold. Brutal. Foaming at the mouth. Head bashed into the wall. Blood dripping from the nose. Skinned knuckles. There isn’t anything except this. Rage. Pain. Loss. Betrayal.

You hinted. You sidestepped. But the truth was there. “She’s not good enough for you.”?

The beer can crushes easily but the sound is inaudible under the heavy weight of the music.

I never saw the signs; had to walk in on the two of you in my bed. I want to hate you. But you won’t let me. You saw the punch coming and took it in the face. Never ducked. Never flinched. Resigned. Accepting.

Still, I wasn’t expecting the phone call. I never thought that they’d find you with that needle in your arm. You’d walked away from that pit, gotten clean. But there you were. And here I am saving the last beer in the fridge for you.

E. W. Boget writes in Michigan, USA.

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