Jockstrap my ego, that fragile package of antique ambitions that never got sent. At a certain age, we are who we are going to be. You must feel that way about the entirety of the whole enterprise, creator of all-for-naught. Sure, as a species we’re taller now than yesteryear, but we’ve not reached new heights. Birds in flight remain more majestic than our clumsy launches, or leaps and bounds. We learn fast now, and have stopped being amazed at the speed. Atrocities have become polite conversation and we can no longer take a joke further than a backroom whisper. When there was just one of us, you removed a rib to make us some company. We now remove our own ribs to lick our own crotch. Being able to safely remove a rib was a great ambition for the package.
Behind every curtain of falsehood we erect in front of our lives, we are as naked as the truth of death. It is the mathematics of what is our nature: we’ll be dead infinitely longer than we were ever alive. That’s as plain as the nose on our face that rots away first so that we don’t have to smell the rest rotting. What a sweet godsend, dear Godhead. The oldest person in the world is waiting for their chance to be the newest dead person in the world, if only for a nanosecond. That’s something at least, to be the newest, the next big thing for a bit. That is a joyful companion, this naked truth of our existence. The oldest person in the world is outfitted in their emperor’s clothes of creases and sag that are the best mathematics, some divine counting.
To souvenir you, bumper stickers abound, shouting taut slogans from here to the hereafter. We merge with the idea of dying, of exiting on an onramp toward your mystery. Exist in the mystery, the prophets proclaim, as if mystery was the climate of some stank shantytown neighboring the pool-house class. The mystery is that we have prophets at all, after all, listening to what they say is tantamount to licking an asshole: you risk shit for the pleasure. The end is near or the end is never ending, they exist in the contradiction of judges and escapee thumb-wrestling. Prophets are just tattletales anyway, telling us what you did behind our backs. The bumper sticker on the backend of my car says nothing, like you, and I tell everyone.
Christopher Grosso is the author of the novels Godfat’s Door, Mauled, and Mouth to God’s Ear, all published by imprints of Crossroad Press. His full-length play, Odor of Sanctity, is published by Monologue Bank. His collection of poems, Philadelphia Swank, won the Thirty West Publishing 2017 Chapbook Competition and was released that same year. He earned and MFA from Brooklyn College and an MA from Cabrini University. He lives outside of Philadelphia.