Poetry

O Sacrum Convivum

13 February 2018

Hiss and acid-pop and off comes the top
of the bottle and ‘I like Coopers,’
I say to Yiani, ‘no bottle-openers required,
although apparently they hate the gays.’
‘You can’t win,’ intones Yiani.
Chink of green glass ‘chin-chin’ under
mosquito-hive canopy, and the sky above
is just really big. We have a clear dusk.
Sip the Jesus juice and sit in silence
for the sacrament. Then we
will have a few minutes probably before
the beer transubstantiates into happiness.
We talk about masculinity for a bit,
‘do we really love people just because
we’re told to?’ ‘Depressing thought.’ True.
Drain. ‘Shall I get another two?’
‘Sounds like a plan.’ Wooden rub
of chair on deck. Slap of feet.
Twist-pop ‘chin-chin.’
‘Speaking of depressing thoughts, I think
my brother’s been reading Nietzsche.’
‘That is depressing,’ says Yiani through
the humid light. ‘Now there’s someone
who should have gone outside more.’
‘Very true,’ I reply, ‘and the concerning
thing for me is that I know I’m not
a Hero, right, I mean I’m just some guy
sitting here drinking beer’ and it’s true,
I’m just sitting there drinking beer.
‘I’ll drink to that.’ He drinks to that
and slaps a blood-glutted mozzie
and groans ‘Jesus Christ, there’s only
a fifty percent chance that’s my own
blood I’ve just smeared down my arm.’
I nod. ‘You know, I’ve always wondered about
what’s-his-face from Patmos, you know
and all that stuff about the rain of flame
and blood, like where the hell does
all that gore just come from?’
‘Yeah,’ says Yiani, ‘pretty freaky when ya
think about it, almost as if sitting alone
in a cave for a few years is a bad idea.’
‘Surely not,’ I jest, but try to justify
Johnny Boy anyway by recounting a few
choice anecdotes outlining how one might
unexpectedly find oneself covered in
someone else’s blood and ‘For fuck’s
sake, mate,’ says Yiani, ‘I’m just tryna
drink a beer’ and it’s true,
we’re just sitting there drinking beer.
Few minutes of silence and the air
is living and whirring with spectral creatures.
‘Do you think if you believe all that
stuff, the Father the Son and the Spooky
Ghost, it’s easier to cope at funerals?
If life already is barely real?’ Yiani asks me
and the light is crawling away from us now.
‘Are you thinking of Thomas and his fam?’
I ask my friend and he nods sadly yes.
‘I dunno. I hope it does. I really do.’
‘Can you even imagine?’ ‘I really can’t.’
It’s very dark now and soon we’ll
need to leave, the night wants us wrapped
in hoot and honk and sickly blare of light.
Yiani rises to find a jacket somewhere
in the creaking living gloom and the sky
is stretched above us like a prophet full
of doom and for a little longer I’m just
sitting here, I’m just sitting here and drinking beer.


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