by Cooper Renner

If it's merrymaking you're after, and you're inviting me, it's got to be pretentious. Dig? Phony from the git-go, artsy as Warhol's dye-job, starbursts on the kitty's tits.

Remember the way you did that when we were kids? You peeled my t-shirt off, tempera'd up your finger and went all solar on my chest. Electric nipples, ultra-luminescent under the breezeway in the El Paso afternoon. I called you my girlfriend and you giggled and said something about Mr Hemphill.

The casino in Paceville, in Malta. First floor of the hotel, the scorpion motif in the tile. "I'm in a wrestling movie!" you shouted.

The port-o-john outside the bar, the one with the goat tied to a stake in the back. You stroked fingernail polish into his goatee and let him sip your whisky. There wasn't any sand anywhere, but the rocks were cool, and we danced like midgets. It was oodles, dear. Oodles of merrymaking.