In the Opinion of the 20th Century Velveeta

by Sean Lovelace

Why not use the olden term, tremble? Or horse fart or quick persimmon or foggy chimes or dear reader smoke of rain off the train tracks…the fluttering geometry of caged hearts? Oh, look at the corn syrup daylight! Bobby buys a pink motorcycle and his sister (a nursing assistant and EBay addict) says, “You know the nurses call those donor-cycles,” and Bobby rounds a corner into a cardboard box (“Never run over a box,” his mother had muttered some foggy/Marlboro memory, corn flakes or uncomfortable walks to the mall.) and slides/caterwhomps/crashes into a fruit stand, but he's OK—I mean the owner of the fruit stand, Mr. C.. The bananas are insured. Sara visits Bobby in the hospital, though she knows not why. Tom drinks three wine coolers and shoplifts a satiny jacket, loud. He says, “I am going to bore a hole into the center of the earth!” Up the hill and down the hill and up the hill, Sara walks. The cool grass on her toes makes her tremble. The sky resembles ripped jeans. With the insurance payment, Mr. C. opens a franchise of flamethrower target ranges. Bobby takes up rock-climbing, the type with no ropes. (Some practices no longer have any practitioners.) Tom gets everything pierced. Mr. C. tries to trademark the word, Zoop! Denied, he flings himself into the river. Sara wades the river (upstream, as is proper for footing) and reads the river and often stands in the river, alone. Ah, the scent of tadpoles. And the water a quick persimmon of smoky notes, fluttering chimes upon a hill, impossibly changing. Bobby's sister bids on a powerful vaccination, while the 20th Century Velveeta enters its Buddhist stage, its mantra: “Etc.”