My unfortunate condition

We’re doing pretty good at this thing, she said on the first day of my condition, one of us picks up the slack where the other drops off. I agreed (we were driving her Kia in a parking lot made of steak). Her face was shiny pink with balloons when the radio blew itself, and then, it started, raining. I puffed up like a marshmallow. My wife was worried about her parking, it was nice. The yellow lines were concerned about my tough cough though. Every time she moved her Kia wheels a clan of gnomes tittered out of the shadows. I chased them furtively down the meat until they crested the horizon, so cute, giggling.

The gnomes drove around haughtily the second day, they lived inside the plumbing of cars. They looked like a bowl of ping pong balls and smelled like my grandma’s cooking. I told her about my little friend Grandma this is my little body, my little spread for the gnomes to feast on. This is my girlfriend she knows how to back it up (her car). This is my adorable family. I’m seventy five— retired. Gnomes behind: the tires. Gnomes in my fluorescent nail beds. I’ve made my bed and now I have to tell lies in it.

Gnomes, and I’m addressing you all directly now, meet my girlfriend in the first gear. Meet the third day of my condition. Meet my car in a meat bikini. Don’t mistake my baby hands for magic beans. Don’t coagulate at the foot of my bed. My mouth is so consistently real that my foam teeth are expanding into my double brain. If I’m retired why do I have to deal? I’m so young and I’ll hunch over my desk? At my desk, droves of gnomes drove quietly up behind me, driven. Their white beards draped onto the back of my goose neck. What a, the gnomes looked down, lovely dress.

On the fourth day the gnomes began to leak. I tripped over a pile of meat and landed myself onto an erect spark plug, liberating a blast of gnomes from my gut. I handed the gnomes a mop and they politely cleaned up. What’s going on in there Snow White said my Grandma from inside the other room from inside her pot of potatoes. Grandma, we aren’t so different you and I. We are both too sick to drive. (God I just love my family, my little wife, who knows how to drive a Kia and even to look, good doing it. God I’m so incredibly young.)

It was the fifth day so I kneeled before the pantheon of gnomes and begged for their judicial mercy. They wanted to know the engine behind my narrative (ha ha, very funny gnomes). I was wearing my costume so as to more authentically perform my infection. Their miniature knuckles ah! Ah! Their miniature knuckles cracked contagiously. I put my hand on the
holy book, my girlfriend had hand-packed me meat lunch. The gnomes were stroking their beards and at this point I winked emphatically. Please, I swear on my Grandma’s snow white hair that I’m a real one. Look at my Kia death drive. Look at me I’m barely legal.

Audrey Lindemann wrote the pamphlet I have compiled 14 gay love poems (SPAM Press 2019). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Queen Mob’s Tea House, Ghost Parachute, Protean Magazine, and elsewhere.

Photograph of Leif Holmstrand performance piece.