Category Archives: Nathaniel S. Rounds

SLOW DEATH THROUGH FERMENTATION

SLOW DEATH THROUGH FERMENTATION
Nathaniel S. Rounds

One night
When the high pressure sodium street lights
Interrogated sea smoke rolling off the water
There was a lonely hot dog cart
Parked outside a string of low rent housing

I watched the angel of death
Order two dogs with extra Tabasco sauce
There was a white-haired girl of indeterminable age
By the name of Céilidh Aquila
Feeding a hotdog to a long-haired dachshund
With a proper name that sounded ancient and cryptic
Fred, I think it was

Céilidh wore a long coat made from a canvas map
To cover her arms and legs
Which appeared to be covered in bug bites
But upon further inspection
Were multiple brandings from a Roman bread stamp
Inscribed with these words:
Century of Billy Bob Aquila
Her abusive father was a baker and an ex-marine

Céilidh didn’t own Fred
Fred belonged with some resignation
To an uptight project manager named Artemisia Bodrum
Who drove a Mini Cooper with a Swedish cargo box
That sat on the rooftop and dwarfed the car
But it had matched her shoes at the time she saw it
And so Artemisia skipped meals
To make the payments on the interest
For all the things she bought to match her shoes
Including Fred
Who matched a pair of Gucci tall boots
And her condo on the south end of town

Artemisia was then in a fog of her own
While working for an ad agency
And trying to buy it
And so she left Fred with Céilidh for longer blocks of time

Tonight
Death was making a few remarks to Chuck Feltman
Who owned the hot dog cart and with whom he was good friends
They got into a long discussion about nitrates and kosher beef
And the Blue Jays vs. Yankees game

Down by the water at a small café
Artemisia attempted to lure the CEO of Colossal Solutions
From an outdoor table to a private yacht
So she could do to him
What Judith had done to Holofernes

At this same moment in time
Fred experienced an allergic reaction to the wheat
In his hot dog bun, causing him to see graphic visions
Of Earth’s commercial air traffic juxtaposed with a glass rabbit

And at this very same moment in time
Which stood at 11:22:26
Give or take
A hydroelectric power station had a penstock rupture
Interrupting power generation
And ruining the coffee break of at least twelve employees

And in exquisite harmony with this moment in time
A guy in a chicken outfit
Stepped out onto his balcony with a camp toilet
And a hand pump and siphon
And a full moon following his labours and soliloquy
Which sounded something like this:

“Man, that’s a stubborn mass down there.”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop
“Must be from when we had Uncle Milton over and he had that
Really bad diarrhea from having his endoscopy.”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop
“And his wife was on that petroleum jelly diet.”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop
“And we thought cats had hairballs.”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop
“But it must have cleared her out.”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop
“Who eats corn around here?”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop
“Oh it was that Mexican clown guy
We hired for Cinco de Mayo.”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop
“Must have been a great harvest
This year.”
Swoosh swoosh ploop ploop

And when this moment passed
Céilidh knelt down to pick up Fred
And reached into her pocket for a key chain flashlight

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

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