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"The Lord's Slowest Swimmers" by Benjamin Bellas


Tell me your feelings about dusk in twenty-seven syllables or less. Hush. I have just one quick sip to soak in your terra-firma breath under the raining catalytic vapors. See this finger of mine held pressed to these here lips? Shhhhhhh. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about loitering. You see, I have middling opinions about ending & closing sequences and the oceanic tenor of our futures. Underneath the molten taffied surface of any water, the preconceptions of previously held common sense are necessarily inverted. That is why I don’t have time for baths of any kind, as I am a man obsessed with his industrious nature. I am Bas Jan Ader getting a prescient jump on the search for our miraculous drowning. Calm, cool, and invective in the face that kisses its farewell to a faraway liquefied reflection. Heat, “where is the heat in this piece?” I ask rhetorically, cutting to the flooding in classes. “Is it in the creation? Nah, it’s in the teasing. Isn’t it always in the repeated rising & teasing?” Another way to think about falling is the rising of all things in unison without me, and if falling is a form of consumption, then failing is a function of living, and living is nothing if not all-consuming. I am a teasing, sweating, fucking, breathing, saliva-soaked & shit-lined machine– the annotated definition of consumption as I listen to the heartbeat of the refrigerated breeze. The salinated image of a crustacean molting out of one shell and into its rusted-soda-can of a coffin. Can I just tell you that no hypothesis has ever been posited to determine definitive causation between ingestion & its opposite? That is at least as far as I know, and I know nothing, for the vacuousness of the self is that with which I am most suffused, a lacuna in the shape of each piece of beached debris. I am a Eureka moment made statistically insignificant by the mass quantity of ocean that awaits its opportunity to menace this city. Now, as I witness the Cathartes Auras circle the high-rise Brickell condominiums, a confirmation of some kind of super-luxe-roadkill-status, the thought occurs to me– the fall has long been my favorite season.




Benjamin Bellas currently lives in Miami, Florida. His work has been featured in Qu Literary Magazine, Fives (A Companion to Denver Quarterly), The Pinch, Cadillac Cicatrix, and Drain Magazine, amongst others.

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