by Sharon Mesmer
Adult quarantine friend, the only thing keeping me alive in this cesspool of full body panic and late-stage capitalism are your slam-dunk queso blanco chips and dips: they make one-third of me feel oddly Eastern-European, the other third like Toto — the band, not the dog — while my middle part is thrown totally off-kilter by warm memories of our massive Halloween horse-foraging weekend. I will be going to great lengths to recreate snack feels as good as that, so make sure you have things to do.
Tall, mature COVID companion, would you agree that the Republican love story is revealed in bacterial DNA, while the Democrats’ is told by a stag beetle that lands on people? On Election Night 2016 I was that stag beetle, waving my pincers in a pathetic attempt to communicate something to three old Italian women sitting on a bench outside a Brooklyn beauty salon and trying to kill me with their dirty pink house slippers. Turns out I was right about the global need for mood stabilizers.
Grown-ass pandemic pal, have you ever been rushed to the ER because you had a fish jaw stuck in your eyeball? How about a small plastic Baby Jesus — or your own earring? I’m asking for a friend. Because you have all your limbs and teeth while I have a small plastic Baby Jesus and an earring lodged in my eyeball along with massive fear of being around people. This begs the question: am I already suffering the rude incongruities of Plague Christmas? Who will travel to vaccinate Santa?
Legal age asymptomatic amigo, fully developed BFF with whom I’m spending every waking second: I’m now living for queso blanco. That’s how attenuated existence has become. Decided: I will be filling all your mobile device screens with age-of-majority content photos, Just so you know. The fact that I have to skip all future Guitar Hero meetups means I will accomplish that, quar goals being a whole different set of goals that we’ve yet to fully understand. I think I’m beginning to, though.
Sharon Mesmer‘s most recent poetry collection is Greetings From My Girlie Leisure Place (Bloof Books). Previous books include The Virgin Formica (Hanging Loose Press) Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo) and Vertigo Seeks Affinities (chapbook, Belladonna). She is also the author of three short fiction collections. Her essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, New York Magazine/The Cut, the Paris Review and the New York Times. She teaches creative writing at NYU and the New School. Bill Mazza is a visual artist using chance, duration, and accumulation to reinterpret landscape as a relationship of people to their mediated environments, through painting, performance, and community-building collaborations.