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"Easy Street" by Austin Treat

Mary, Mother of God,

All she wanted from Man, her second husband, was honesty, “hot coal white lies burn faster than gasoline.”

Without money to feed her children, she had nothing, running to Laocoon, telling his children, “be honest,” loquacious until he leaves.

In the end, justice only leads to love on pavement pillows, and dragging sleepless teddy bears through sex caves. I would know. Call me Odysseus.

I may never leave this place at the edge of the water, sunbathing with mermaids wearing snakes over their shoulders, slithering into West Hollywood bathrooms, promising fellatio friendships: transactional lips cashing fraudulent checks: another name defiled on graffiti walls; shattered teeth until he falls.

Comatosed in liquored conversation and ketamine, weightless words float over Palatine Hill-side Emperor penguins, sleep waddling over the city; my vision blurry, beanie babies smoke cigarettes on pool-top balconies, celebrating an American birthday; they barely know the Speaker of the House; they drop acid under starry blanket skies; liquid lubricants fill blurry eyed men intent on pounding bare-chested banana hammock boys, professionally dressed in bow ties, comrades of cock shooting bittersweet blue-collar-chit-chat.

Spur the horse to greener hormone pastures where compliments shower from crumpled paper-headed presidents, bowed in prayer, hands squeezing rosary-bead-G-strings.

Great Buddha bellies bounce on the sand, howling into washed-up Siddhartha panting voraciously, spent seed dripping, glistening, forever studious at the courtesan’s feet, truest lover, he’ll never leave this place.

I just wander around blind, wings made of wax, soaring over balding romantics in Camus t-shirts, chatting politics in bathtub mortuaries but the doors are closing, crowd thinning: milk mustache nose rings kiss glossy Sephora lips. Moist finish. Exhale: blowing hot creamy yacht money.

Set sail.

Subconscious climbing, hand over hand, up the Great Wall of Garbage. Fresh cement wildflowers, and Jack’s beanstalk sprouting up the gate. The only way out is past the security guard smoking; I’m scrambling higher, to the clouds, where the air is thinner, and the giant sleeps beside his golden harp playing Chris Brown, serenading sweaty lumberjacks while they cut the tree down, in montage; I fall on my face, the Camus bros walk by, laughing.

Pour me some tea while I'm down here, English Breakfast please, the ants want some too, just a sippy-sip while I radar the next arthropod, tip the driver. “Be a good man and drop me at the nearest scooter.”

Vroom-Vroom under white powder telephone lines with no signal; somewhere in Hollywood, I hit a K-Hole. Painless. Guiltless. Everybody skips the toll booth on their way to you. Push the scooter down, traffic lights flashing, I present to you! The narcoleptic trapezist, flying into...pothole contusions.

For a moment, seaweed lovers dance in storefront reflections with different colors, but the same gentle smile. Every window passing is a new set of eyes tempting memories.

Get up.

Honeycomb hair, baby curls, the one that broke your heart, the one that stole your heart, the one you did the same to, the one and only, yours truly.

She’s not there, just a smile missing, my silver streak phantom dancing, illusive, just out of reach in recent memory.

Her rose petal lips, Athena’s aegis, shields me from love’s shadows. Lost in high tide hips, I’m rolling outside Calypso’s cave, not yet trapped behind the glass with the old mannequin models, stripped bare of flesh.

Zipping by, I’m chasing heavenly quarry, to her apartment in the sky: the last great hideout at the edge of the universe. Her bare legs’ embrace is waiting for me.

One breath away, two hundred and fifty feet, the STOP sign flashes red at the corner of Easy Street. When I get there, I may never leave.

Austin Treat's fiction appears, or is forthcoming in, Flash Fiction Magazine, Everyday Fiction, Storm Cellar Magazine, UCLA's Westwind, and others. If you like his work, you can find more at He lives, works, and plays pickup basketball in southern Maine. Go Celtics.

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