Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Rhetorical Morbidity

Consider the exact nature of the back alley in which you'll die. Speculate on its dimensions, openness, cohabitants, textures and chemical additives. When you're lying there, shivved or collapsing from unhospitalized organ failure, how will it smell? When you're too weak from starvation to keep from shitting your pants from the filthy water you've been drinking, will it really worsen your surroundings?

Picture its slimy, abraded brickwork. Is the slime of human biological origin? Or is it mold or chemical runoff or bird feces or the simple accumulation of degeneration? Does the spot in which your decaying body has crumpled lie within line of sight of the street? Can you see each passer-by pointedly ignoring you? Can you see their step quicken at your pathetic whimpers? Are there others in the alleyway with you, off the beaten path? Are they beating you? To death or just for kicks? Maybe a broken pallet is providing the tools of their trade. Are you beyond caring about splinters as the plank rakes down from the top of your skull, opening your cheek? Can you taste the fresh air? Did that loose nail dig enough into your back to puncture your kidney? Is the pain worse than the ceaseless grinding and swelling of your already moribund viscera?

What are they shouting at you, as they laugh?
Or just Loser?
Is each condemnation punctuated by a kick? Does one of them grab the few hairs you have left, dragging them from your scalp smeared red to lift your head and spit in your face?

Are there windows in the walls lining the alley? Do you glimpse impassive spectators shadowing the cheap, filmy glass?

At which point do you actually die? What impression does your death rattle accompany? Do you drown in a puddle, inhaling streaks of kerosene? Or are you maybe face up, having lost the strength to roll over for protection? Do you gasp for breath or choke on your own spit?

Do you cry, or have you already lost any excuse to do so, long, long ago?

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