I think of a person in a hamburger suit. The suit is the size of a dorm papasan chair. It has rubber lettuce, tomato, meat, cheese, bun, smile, round eyes. The person’s legs in green tights poke out the bottom of the suit.
“I have sesame seeds on my back!” says the hamburger person.
Somewhere in California’s Mojave desert a man lies face-down on the hot road, wheelchair capsized more than an arms’ length from him. People leave him in the desert sun.
“He had some sores and his skin!”
“He was gross!” they say.
The hamburger person stands next to the man. “I’m made of cow!” says the hamburger. Rubber eyes stare at the desert. Steam rises from the asphalt.
In Ohio, a man with no friends and no living family lies on the floor in a room lined with cages of chinchillas and guinea pigs. The man has opened the cage doors so the animals can scurry over his body.
The hamburger person is there.
“Ooh! Squirrels!” squeals the hamburger.
The Ohio man pushes the hamburger face down on the floor as he chases the chinchillas and guinea pigs who have run out the door the hamburger person left open.
The hamburger person giggles, fluttering feet against the carpet.
shut up, mind
I cram thoughts inside a box so that their faces are pressed against the glass and spots of round fog appear, drips of condensation:
I wish he would stop my arm itches my turn I said that first I’m in line you cut me off I want it more you can’t have it I am skinnier than her I think I wish she would disappear why are you here? This sock is bunching I don’t like his shuffling she smacks her mouth you’ve never had Taco Bell? I never knew that why did I paint this? There is a crack in the sidewalk my stomach hurts I want you to put that down stop it Don’t tell me that why do you always say that? I love watching cats the first time I saw that movie I was twelve when are we going?
I grip under my eyebrows, peel up my scalp and grab one: a hornet flashing yellow that stings the inside of my palm and I want to let it go it stings me I want to open my palm, but instead I open the box of thoughts and shove my fist deep,
allowing some of the other yellow stinging thoughts float out as if they were filled with helium, bump out, drunk from suffocation — relatively harmless except in great numbers when they would eat me alive,
which is why I put them in the box in the first place.
My head throbs blood drips over my temples while I close the box’s top and place it on the river where it flows away and the undead stingers flitter in the air like moths, dropping down a bit
then fluttering upward.