by Doug Paul Case
I can’t stop thinking about this .gif I saw
on Tumblr a few days ago: Jake Bass
licking some anonymous man’s penis and
how the penis bounces slightly with the touch
and how washed out the light is
and therefore how washed out everything is
and how his neck tattoo stretches as he moves
his tongue up the man’s shaft and how
incredibly flat the man’s torso is and how
I saw it just after my ex left my house
halfway through sucking me off
because he said he felt uncomfortable
suddenly, because my roommate was home,
which I hadn’t understood because he knew
my roommate was home when he started
and I’m pretty quiet, even when I don’t
want to be. I’ve been working on projecting
but like everything that takes time,
it’s taking more than it should.
That night we’d gone to Rally’s
for the first time in a long time, just
to talk, and I got the burger that’s got the fries
on it, and it was better than I’d remembered
which makes me kind of sad
because I often think about trying vegetarianism
and I don’t understand the economics
of a two dollar cheeseburger
when I can’t even buy a bag of spinach
for that price. I’ve been thinking
about that burger for about as long
as I’ve been thinking about Jake’s .gif,
which makes me wonder about meat
and if I’m a terrible person. Mostly
I think I’m all right, even if I’m sitting here—
now—watching that .gif on its infinite loop
with pieces of another burger in my mouth.
I wish he’d stayed.
Doug Paul Case lives in Bloomington, where he recently received his MFA from Indiana University. He is the author of the 2015 chapbooks Something to Hide My Face In (Seven Kitchens) and College Town (Porkbelly Press). His poems have appeared in Salt Hill, Hobart, Washington Square, and Voicemail Poems.
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