It was an ordinary day.
East Norriton where I work.
O, sanctuary from the rain!
I had this feeling walking up to the door,
as if doom espoused with terrible luck.
As if the human soul has given complete submission
to the cosmos and fate.
I don’t believe in fate,
or think that I am the only human that has ever experienced this feeling,
but stepping into the vestibule,
among the fresh greens and toppings,
and the scant other diners,
it hit me.
A wash of unexplainable depth.
Like the Mariana’s Trench birthing a schism
deep into the mantle
and possibly more;
or something like that.
Or at the very least
a slow whirlpool,
like the kind that forms at a shower drain.
It left my organs indiscriminate of pain,
as if my nerves shut the lights off for a moment,
only if that moment was infinite with(in) nature.
Trump was being sworn in as I opened the door.
‘I’ll create my own today’ I said.
A less-than-usual choice.
I even redeemed $5.00
and added a drink.
‘Your total will be, six dollars and sixty-six cents.’
The cashier said, with a sardonic laugh to boot.
‘I’ll take my chances.’
and stuff my face with disproportion.
The devil was calling for me
in the glitch of the matrix,
and all I could do was laugh in my own little way.
It wasn’t much, but it was all I had today
in madness or in liberty.
I’ll never see the light upon the hill
for I’ll perish in these trenches
bleeding like soldiers,
dreaming like soldiers
into a morphine pool,
doing what I love.
In this lunatic parade,
we all dance with the red death
breathing down our neck,
breaking out neck.
And I am the pallbearer
playing the role, and knowing how it all ends,
for I’ve seen it before.
By Josh Dale
Josh Dale holds a BA in English from Temple University and has been previously published or forthcoming in 48th Street Press, April Gloaming Publishing, Black Elephant Literary Magazine, SickLit, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Your One Phone Call, and others. If he’s not petting his rescue Bengal, Daisy, he is perfecting his stir-fry recipe, hunched over in the dark like an alchemist. He is the founder and current editor-in-chief of Thirty West Publishing House and Tilde: A Literary Journal.