Great Rift Valley

by aksania xenogrette

gadget green knows the future of oil.
she fancies his love deeper than her spleen,
so tell me why are her sentences so long to leave,
he would not sleep, spat oil, puked oil,
it shone there in the toilet when she went to check in on him.

he spat black, told her to get the fuck out of the room, and she  left for fear. his voice was so loud and there were splinters in her  sleeve from wistfully trailing her soft sweater along the worn  woodwork in the hall. twirling her hair with shiny tears in her  green eyes, she thought of the day her mother died.

this boy who spits green melts the tureen,
and gadget green goes wishing,
spins the paper-mache marble in the library
and goes scream. this shitty continent,
its shifting borders making globes obsolete
from season to bloody season.

mali licked his wrist, lost his lime twist, not being used to this  kind of company. his suit, brilliantly tailored for his powerful  body, was at the same time completely at odds with his presence.   mali, the unwilling leader of a flagless army, who stunned the world  with his masterful brutality, tactical prowess, and balls of steel.   in the course of several months he destroyed the evil regimes of six  nations.  the people danced in the street and wrote beautiful songs  in his honor that were heard around the world.

powerful men from every continent were gathered in the greatrooms  and parlors of the plantation house given to him in the wake of his  victory.  so many faces, of every color.  it looked like a cocktail  party for the u.n. except they all had smiles on their faces, there  were no arguments to be heard, only reverence for this man with so  much blood on his hands, who had carved liberty from the belly of  the beast.  she shivered in the cease-fire like a virginal nude  brought to life.

gadget green has mental health problems.  she struck up a  conversation with mali for a short minute in the hallway. she asked  him if he had seen the great rift valley. his eyes answered for him.  or was it the handsome scar running from his neck to his cheekbone?  she smiled in a way that disturbed him greatly and she said,

“you know, those suits downstairs are loathsome, aren't they. i hate  everyone of their smiling faces. they are vampires of capitol and  misery and toil. they suck murder from the devil's tit, and shit  money. they smile toothpaste smiles and chat it up in their fucking  velvet rooms, drink the world's sweat and tears and speak of  dividends and leverage.  they possess more wealth than twenty  generations could spend and still they lust for more power and never  blink to throw more fat on the fire.  These men love only their  lusts, their lies, and esteem themselves to be great men.”

he rushed into the bathroom, slammed the door,
and began to puke so loud she thought of thunder.

she took the last gag in stride
thinking in her spoily mind
of brains versus brawn,
her heart shamelessly drunk with love.

mali splashed water in his eyes and opened the door.
thinking himself the opposite of brave,
he waltzed into the hall,
tripping over gadget green,
who was curled up elbows and knees,

an ox and a camel went sloping downhill
a blackbird spat
their clumsy fucking hooves
went splat.

lay down heavy one
i will point you in the direction
of your misery

the leather strap doesn't ask the horse
how its throat made that sound
or the bloody edge of fear
the smell of lightning in the ground

a swimming pool of ink
ridden with sea monsters
with no eyes
gone swimming deeper
beneath all hope of an answer…….

froggy had begun to keep a journal, and was very proud of his tiny,  clear handwriting.

…….when i saw you walk through the market to buy tomatoes, i knew  that god loves me.  i spat in the dirt, like the old ladies.   because i am a fool to love you.

when you leave the schoolhouse, i follow my friends home, trailing  along with pepsis. they know nothing.  gunpowder and blood on the  street and they smile.  i have nothing to fall back on.  now i live  in this nurses house and fall asleep.  she doesnt understand me when  she tells me in english,  i hope you get what you want.

i am a fool.  Why didn't I run?  last thing i remember i was staring  at my eyes in some water in the dirt, and my mother was gone to  market. these ants were crawling up my legs and i was tired.  then i  heard guns.  they skidded out in their jeeps with the big guns.  my  father told me to get the fuck out of the way.  i felt lazy and i  didnt run when they jumped off, high on booze, with guns in their  hands.

that ugly motherfucker with the black face, looked at my father.  he  didnt even laugh.  he didnt even finish his cigarette.  he pulled  the trigger and i watched the blood shoot out of my fathers head.

then baal grabbed me by the legs like I was a goat.  i hate killing  things.  i love mali because he killed klot.  and now he is dead.  i  dreamt of helicopters last night.  i worry for mali.  he is sleeping  upstairs in that big white house……
~end journal~mali was smoking in the garden, trying to calm his racing heart.   Frogs were croaking into the night, and he thought of froggy his  little man, loyal as a dog, the way he looked, running back from the  fight, all covered in blood, this 11 year old boy with a rifle slung  over his back, and a silver lighter stolen from the pocket of the  man he had just shot in the gut.

……what is true?    not the force of my killing fists.  i am proud  froggy was there.  baal.  i slayed him.  and now these ministers of  the west are waltzing though my ballroom.  i asked for one thing.   the police chief's mansion.  i fear her body.  i have never seen  oxford or wales.  i shook his hand last night.  still i have not  slept.

i had a moment.  i took his wrist.  i dragged him into me.  i knifed  him in the throat.  whose hands are these?

the light in froggy's eyes.  i would say something heavy. i would  lift this stone with one hand.  i would tell him my arms are nothing  to admire.  and he wouldnt understand.

is this garden the smell of victory?     no, that was just gadget green…...