r e y n a r d    s e i f e r t

I Remember The Day I Realized That I Was Not A Part Of You.


It was around ten in the afternoon and your hair was doing that weird halo thing it does. Or was it tied in a knot starting just below the bridge of your nose? Were there clutches of hair hanging down the sides of your face like the clumps of whiskers in a Chinese beard? Come to think of it, you always were an old man inside, and half-Chinese. I lit a paper lantern. It floated downriver to your homestead, where an asteroid burnt a hole in the sky.

Every time I felt you up there was an act of giving taking place. It was a love thing, Iím told. Fried wontons make me happy to think Iím living my life the wrong way. But honestly, I canít remember what you look like anymore. Itís like, I try (I srsly do). But thereís a fuzzy face over your hips and your lips, as if you were on Cops that one time. Wait, is that what this is all about? Was I on Cops that one time?

My grandma is going to be so disappointed in me when I confess that Carl Lewis is not the man I thought he was when I asked her to vote for him that one Thanksgiving dinner in 1992. I remember everyoneís jaws dropped to the ground when Nana made a lot of plastic buttons with her bare hands, the same hands that pinched my face when all of us were giants eating green beans full of real-life bacon bits. Slices of cranberry sauce the size of my ribcage jiggling in place so that years later I could have sworn I had seen a replica of the Red Sea. A spiral nails me in the back of the head because Iím running for the goal line without the ball.

My grandpa has guns for arms and ammo for tattoos marking the shoulder pads like eighth-inch cleats in the tops of your hands, which will shatter a few ligaments in your eardrums due to the fact these bullets are no longer made of lead, for sure. Popo donít say much, but when he does you know it ainít bullshit. Do you understand what itís like to watch Polka on a Plasma TV?! Sometimes it seems I just canít get ahead, even though my chin is on the ground. Please get your foot off my chin. Thanks. That feels right. And thanks for the money in advance. You have to understand, there is a warmth around my eyeballs the likes of which words cannot cool down.

Why donít you come over for brunch yesterday? I would have explained that you need to bring your birthday suit if you want to play cornhole. Weíll listen to Roy Rodgers and Merle Haggard by the aboveground pool. Or maybe drink some soy sauce lattes beneath my brand-new assortment of decorative palm tree fronds. Whatís more is, I care about you. Itís true! And if something were to happen — like, I dunno — I would probably wander around your neighborhood with no watch or war paint on whooping loud, Que hora es mi amigo comida?! for hours on end because I like you! Like I said, trust me, thereís more to me than meets the eye for you, and more for you, too, when we get to the house on the hill.

Youíll see. Just wait. Weíll give each other military haircuts and make ice cream sandwiches on lemon bread in the candy machine, let it melt over peach cobbler in front of everyone the way the Dutch oven is hot as the iron is to ice, as hot is to cold melting your hair after dark is the night sky that just might begin to howl long john, long john long before Long John Silver passed away behind the bleachers, stinking of death the way youíll never catch me smoking, let alone snorkeling, not even today, not even ever. So I lay down at the center of the 50-yard line and gaze up at the stars thinking, Itís so weird how the universe was built for me. Itís such a neat little place. And by the way, have you seen my halo? Itís a brand-new kind of shooting star.



Reynard Seifert is the author of How to Skin the Moon, a chapbook, and the ebook Zzzombiezzz. His new ebook Everything Is on Sale is forthcoming from Unnecessary Press. He edits Titular and has been published on the Internet kind of a lot. Google him. He lives in San Francisco.

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