Carlos. That was his name. Dante recognized him from school. He had enrolled last year, having come from somewhere in South America. He was always reserved, never really speaking unless spoken to, Dante figured it was because his English wasn’t perfect. He recalled the one time he had spoken to Carlos in class, making a snide remark about the workload, receiving in return a mere nod and smirk of agreement. He sat across from Dante in the waiting room. Dante wondered why he was in the hospital. …

From deep inside the womb he crawls

His mother clenches way too hard

Bone-to-skull two pops tight squeeze

Birthed a boy whose eyes can breathe

What once was full now is hollow

His sockets lost what they must swallow

On his face two gaping holes

And just down sight two dangling balls

Helix looked up from his paper, then back down, then back up again at the board. His hand making a slight rotation in unison with each glance. To the right of his eye, a Mercator projection of our sacred sphere, worn from decades of abuse from restless teenagers. He was cornered on every other side by the current generation of those same sweaty teenagers. Everything in the drab classroom seemed to blend together, it made it difficult for Helix to navigate. His teacher, Mr. LeBlanc, appeared to be some sort of bleak vertical extension of the classroom’s floor. He rotated his eye from scalp to scalp, greasy-short, greasy-long, clean-long, buzzed. The 30-year-old map was truly the only refreshing sight. His only friend in the class was the guy with three hands perched up in the top right corner, by the door. …

It’s late, 2 AM to be precise. The room is dark. The only light spills in from the streets, from the neon signs of vape shops and the incandescent glow of the streetlamps. Four faces are dimly lit, facing each other, revealing themselves for brief moments as the cherry of their cigarettes get brighter during inhale. The air in the room is thick with the smoke of tobacco. On the table between them rest two ashtrays, one is full, they are working on the other.

The space is calm, breathing, coming to life as the four men punch back cigarette after cigarette in steady fashion. The room continues to fill with smoke. With each inhale the metaphysical space in which the men sit gets older and older. This is the function of the cigarette. The little stick of tobacco. They light their cigarettes, the flick of the lighter hearkening back to the ancients, when the first peoples discovered fire. The flame rests at the tip of each cigarette and slowly travels toward its smoker. The smoke within is imbued with the life force of their elders. Each inhale carries the lessons of the men’s ancestors, it fills their lungs and disseminates throughout their bodies into their bloodstream. The space slowly begins to change, the walls turn to stone, the sound of the streets take on old wave forms. Each drag of the cigarettes is a pulse in the beating heart of the old world which is now taking shape before their eyes. The stone walls etch themselves with the glyphs of old, depictions of animals, tools, the early people. Some serve as warnings, some as lessons. Where the ashtrays once sat now rest piles of charred sticks and twigs, and from within them emanates a deep blue flame that turns to orange the further outward it reaches. The men gaze into the flame and see their own faces staring back, rewinding, the faces take new forms, or old forms. The reflections of their ancestors stare back at them, from the tip of the cigarette, the beginning of the flame. …

Ed shoots straight up out of bed. His breathing is short and hard. He gazes around the room to find himself in a sea of white. White walls, white dresser, white bedside table, white sheets, and a white wife beater to top him off. A surge of urgency overwhelms him and he launches out of the bed at the dresser. His stomach crashes into the dresser, and his face lurches forward towards the mirror, almost touching it. Staring right back at him is his own plain face; it’s white with wrinkles, plain brown eyes, and short cut greying hair. He feels his scalp. He backs away from the mirror and gazes down. White underwear and a green carpet. His breathing is still short and hard, and his heart is beating at an unhealthy pace for somebody who just woke up. Why are there no windows in here? He thinks. The urgency rushes him again. …


Mista Divine

Reach down your throat, for the vocal chord slime. Reach into your mind, pour les langues du divine.

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