Year End Hoe Down
How we use to lick mirrors just for the sound.
Ecstatic rolling on the barn floor. Smearing faces
with mud to mask to writhe into one team of hearts.
foreheads bumping rhythm
on the stable door.
Before chores and weekday restrictions.
Before. desk chair bus bell
shuffle line sit on your hands
keep your mouth shut
eyes to yourself
recite repeat pass repeat—
There was good riding over those fields.
We remember the dance as fuel till the next dance calls out
call in call us call them call them us or us them or both call
the ritual dance. Turn up the music. Make holes.
It’s time to go.
But I don’t want to.
No one does.
But you promised.
I promised nothing. You were lucky to get this far.
Come on, we need the bed.
So do I.
Stop being a baby.
No use getting stroppy.
You’re a liar.
Alright, get up, get out, I’ve had enough. Out.
The doctors, nurses, internal security, infantry, National Guard, local P.D. CIA FBI ICE NSA, sixteen religious men (always men). No family crowded the door. The patient president rolled toward the window and closed his eyes. What gray and hating eyes they were, spiteful, fogged lost windows to the soulless. Soul long sold for money born into and from and devoted to money to debt promissory notes forged signatures defaulted transfers false advertising deft offshore manipulations underhanded back-pocketed ass-tickling bribes digital blips decided on desperate screens defrocked snake-oil brands middle management hand sleights moral compass demagnetized ego mental physical emotional bully everything about me and me and me having more I am terrific great amazing awesome tremendous greatest ever I am the global unconsciousness of system devotion to materialism I am wanted you wanted to be I am the ultimate heir the land-owner the law-dodger the hirer and firer of gun-slingers the reneger on treaties the landlord withholding the deposit after you have completed the contract and left better than how you found the place I am the no-tax paying corporation incarnate you cannot touch or move me I am inert, the life and way.
A pig-tailed eleven-year-old girl slipped between the knees and hips and thighs and holsters into the room. Solemn, she approached the bed, grabbed the old man’s ear, and twisted. The crowd at the door gasped then applauded and then paraded as she dragged the old man by the twisted ear along the corridor under the portrait eyes of great men, down the curling stairs once brushed by the greatest of gowns, out the front door, which once symbolized hope and faith and all things good having a rightful place and onto the great lawn, which once held picnics and dances and bar-by-cues for manual workers. The girls went over to the flower bed. She returned to the bawling old man rolling on the grass. She shoved a daisy up each nostril, a thorny pink rose down the throat, and stuffed each ear with daffodils. And said, there now, piss off.
David Morgan O’Connor is from a small village on Lake Huron. After many nomadic years, he is based in Albuquerque, where a novel and MFA progresses. His writing has appeared in; Barcelona Metropolitan, Collective Exiles, Across the Margin, Headland, Cecile’s Writers, Bohemia, Beechwood, Fiction Magazine, After the Pause, The Great American Lit Mag (Pushcart nomination) , The New Quarterly and The Guardian. Tweeting @dmoconnorwrites.