10:00 Rush by Gabriel Ricard

He looks from one of the grassy island
to the other. It’s a long stretch of neglected paradise
that separates twenty lanes of midnight madness traffic
in front of him,
and twenty lanes of the ten o’clock rush to vote
for giant robots and hypochondriac stuffed animals.

Free cocktails all over town,
if you’re brave enough to vote twice.

One of his friends shrugs,
and says there are just a lot of rape jokes
in the sky tonight.

The other two friends are shirtless,
dying of dehydration and a shared midlife crisis,
and they’re preparing to go to war
with each other again.

The hotel is in front of them, too,
and it’s the closest thing to Hollywood action and disbelief
for miles. Darkness has swallowed up the gas stations, nail salons,
and handsome Mexican pharmacies.

The hotel room is in front of them, too,
but there may as well be a murder of steel mountains
between the next patch of brown grass,
and the sanctity of an empty, clean bed.

someone else has the room key.
Someone else fucking lost the other one.

It’s 110 degrees under what’s left of the moon,
and these goddamn morons are going to kill each other,
if they don’t suddenly get the urge to kill someone else.

Or just kill a stranger’s room.

Everything is a dilapidated zoo riot worth of possibilities.
Nine, ten hopelessly sick, arthritic animals worth of explosions
consisting of blood and handheld supernovas and political suicide.

He watches his obese pals knock each other down.
He listens to the other friend laugh, after kicking an empty beer can
at a passing cop car.

Sleeping in doesn’t sound like that bad of an idea.
Going home doesn’t seem selfish and chilly anymore.
Finding a home might be a good idea for the oncoming week.

Microscopic cartoon characters play out nuclear war debates
up and down his spine.

Gabriel Ricard

Gabriel Ricard is a writer, editor, and occasional actor. He is a Film Editor with Drunk Monkeys, an editor with Kleft Jaw, and a featured contributor with Cultured Vultures. His book “Clouds of Hungry Dogs” is available at http://www.kleftjaw.com/shop and Amazon.com.




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