When I walk along the waterfront of west Michigan, I forget about west Michigan.  I like that.  I like the sense of limbo, that this convergence of sea and sand is neither all water, nor all land.  Your will determines whether you choose to bounce on the beam of beach or edge into the surf. This is where I want my fresh corpse to be celebrated in true Viking fashion, my blazing body upon a wooden pyre, pushed off towards the horizon.  It would be a funeral fit for Terry Malloy.  You could be Terry Malloy.  A contender.  You could strike when the timing is right, block the blows bestowed you, and manage to rise to your feet when you’re a crumpled, bloodied mess.

No matter the performance of your roles, or the tenacity in your battles, your dream of immortality will asphyxiate under a marginal tombstone.  Panic ensues.  Run away.  Road trip!  We’ll raid the complacent bars of San Francisco; kneel before the spirit-dispensing altar.  Our bartender, aglow, God-like in the neon light, fills up our empty mugs and souls.  Desperate diversions rest in the tips of our cigarettes.  In time, we’ll stagger intoxicated to Pacific Coast Highway One.  To reach the summit, motions are of significance.  Funny how such orchestration leads to a precipice.  Behind Walgreens, in the dumpster, is where I want my ashes scattered.  I want my bone cocaine to settle in the Galapagos oasis of solidified kitchen grease, mingle with the speckling of chicken bones.  We all know the finality awaiting us – what does it matter?

Come, fellow lemming,
Mr. Caulfield saves those who
fall, not those who leap.


Mackenzie Slaughter is a student at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She refuses to let periods of drudgery smother her creative zest.

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