i twist a bloody knife through the ribs of anyone who’s ever kicked an animal, through the neck of every schoolyard bully, and through the predatory balls of any man downtown who’s taller than me or less of a gentleman. i’m a suicide bomber. i come strapped with screws in every wrist and knee. my mouth is full of tin, and my pockets are a gnashed up mess of aluminum cans. you want some of me? i don’t need to be six feet tall to exact my revenge. i’ll come at you like a drunk man. i rattle like a can of spray paint on my approach. my sudden sobriety will ferment into a sour mash of softspoken hurt. modern violence is the skillful administration of the least amount of metal into the softest and most unexpected facet of the human body. a face will materialize from the crowd. who was that? i have come to ease your passage into the next world. your gin and tonic suddenly tastes suspiciously like blood from your own mouth. a fistful of razorblades, skillfully applied. the other hand comes packed with sand, a southpaw explosion, a deft cloud in your vision, a red streak of paint across your neck. unngh. why you lying on the floor? awwww, why ain’t you gonna fuck with no one no more? face down on the canvas. i left your dead fish wanna be corpse in my wake, slicked up with oil from my greaser blade. you paid. then we both left that scene in a state of grace. you into outer space. me to some place, a dirty room, where the cops can’t find me, with a tv and a bed. watching the ten o’clock news for your last words, the last thing your girl heard from your lips. the reporter always sounds happy when someone dies. i never know how to pronounce the names of foreign leaders until they get assassinated. i keep spray painting the back of my throat, to help me forget that some things just happen. i was reading just a few days ago about this little girl who got a bike for christmas, and took it out into the street for the first time, bright smile smiling. and she was gonna grow up and be a wonderful person, a doctor. or no, she was gonna go to work for a non profit, and get married twice, lovingly, and she was gonna love animals and jazz, and have all these beautiful friends, who will never get to call her because she got hit by a fucking pickup truck. the mother’s heart, swelling with pride at her little baby, look how happy she is! look how happy i made her! it’s like she’s flying, look at her, she’s HONEY NOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! BABY, NO! CALL AN AMBULANCE! AHHHHHHHHH! and that is what christmas is like for this one family, who will never be happy again. you need to pause when you come to a sentence like that. it’s a death sentence. never. be happy. again. there are sirens outside my window all the time, and they roll for me, but one day, everyone will know what it’s like to be ripped from your bedroom forever, strapped into restraints with a fucking plastic tube going down the back of your throat. whatever good deeds i do, i just hope they’re enough so that when i die, it won’t be through suffocation. i don’t care. i will shoot myself before i can’t breathe. if my last breath is the one that pulls the trigger, then my lungs have done their job. so ask not for whom the sirens roll. they roll for thee, down a street you used to live on, when you were in your twenties and your masterpiece could wait, a least a few months cos i need to pick up some extra shifts, and me and her and you and the whole crew are gonna go see a movie later, it’ll be a time, i don’t want to get to the end of my life without watching a whole fucking bunch of movies, so that when my life flashes before me, it won’t be painful to watch because it won’t be mine. paint contains dust. it’s time for me to make preparations. i have a crazy drunk pianist phase to go through. the one where i never change my shirt, figure out what my greasy head is capable of, don’t wear pants, and wander around in the park at five in the morning, making adjustments to a theme. chewing pills. making myself and my work fucking ill. when the drunk man yells at me, my heart switches from 3/4 into 45 rpm. is it fight? is it flight? it is what it is. whatever it takes to paint the picture. to immolate life. paint. paint. paint. out of breath. done. sleep.