You will find rainbow vomit simmering under humming, buzzing, tubes attached to the ceiling; you will find disgust taped to the commodes of toilet bowls, and cigarette butts will be drinking radioactive water, glowing and bubbling. Thirty steps later, you will find gnats circling like hyperactive vultures, eyeing their red and yellow preys. Fifteen steps later, you will find the class struggle: Jaguar men with bloodshot eyes — full of mucus, and unbuttoned shirts, revealing pink chests, with four strands of hair asking for directions; you will find a five year old daughter looking up at her mother with eyes full of balloons; in front of them, a sweet circus full of blues, greens, reds, yellows, and purples; the mother will be looking the other way: “Never let your child see you cry,” she will think, and they will move on, leaving the American nightmare men buying diet caffeine and extra large butter for vaginas; the Enlightened men, with their thumbs tapping their zippers, will be thinking about how long the show will last. They will get mad at you when you will tell them that you are all out of carbonation; they will grunt like seals and flap their arms like pigs and point at you like you’re a disobedient dog. You will find that you will not retrieve. You will nod your head and grin, because Upstairs says that you will be always wrong. They will walk away, complaining about calories, while chewing butter and sipping greed. You will find the next customers, a mute couple, crossing the street for the first time, ordering the same thing. You will serve them, though. You will give them what they want. You will give them carbonation, salt, and a U-Turn smile. Why? Why will you not serve the penises what they will want, and why will you serve the pedestrians what they will want, for they will all want the same thing? You will know soon.

Shome Dasgupta is the author of i am here And You Are Gone (Winner Of The 2010 OW Press Fiction Chapbook Contest), The Seagull And The Urn (HarperCollins India, 2013) which has been republished in the UK by Accent Press as The Sea Singer (2016), and Anklet And Other Stories (Golden Antelope Press, 2017). His next novel, Pretend I Am Someone You Like, is forthcoming from University of West Alabama’s Livingston Press (2019). His stories and poems have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, New Orleans Review, NANO Fiction, Necessary Fiction, Magma Poetry, and elsewhere. His fiction and poetry have been anthologized in The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing (&Now Books, 2013) and Poetic Voices Without Borders 2 (Gival Press, 2009). His work has been featured as a storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Story, nominated for The Best Of The Net, and longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50. He lives in Lafayette, LA and his website can be found at www.shomedome.com.

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