You are driving. It is dark. The lights are like seahorses. Little curly seahorses that sparkle as you drive past them.
Your car is the color of the moon. Last year’s astronauts brought a suede pouch of moon dust with them when they came back from outer space. They gave the moon dust to Toyota. Toyota’s employees kissed every single particle and mixed them into an alloy they sold as “moonstone.” Yes, when you bought the car, the salesman told you to smell it. “There’s lunar soil on this car,” he said before he went to smoke a cigarette.
The Fourth of July. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is on the radio. You sing. You lift your hands from the wheel and snap your wrists to the downbeat. You are conducting the New York Philharmonic’s annual twilight performance of our national anthem. The woodwinds run races around your self-consciousness, and the timpani beat their chests in double-breasted suits.
It is night. Told you that.
You are moving at 95mph. Didn’t tell you that.
You’ve swallowed twenty-six small purple pills because well you like them, okay? People give them to you for free. You have Tupperware containers of them under your bed. They taste like plastic. You think about what they do to your stomach. How the folds of your epithelium roll over them like caterpillars, crushing them into a powder, a powder that is almost like liquid, and absorbing the powder until the lining of your stomach is solid violet.
These seahorses are on amphetamines.
You hold a silver baton in your mind, conducting the final chorus of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Francis Scott Key is hosting a rave and chewing on glow sticks at the bottom of your soul. Francis Scott Key is taking his shirt off and putting his hands in the air and closing his eyes as you dive into the accelerator, fucking it with your metatarsal bones. No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave. Sweet, sweet inertia. Is something pulling on your solar plexus?
The lights, seahorses, moonstone, bursting.
Lipids. Cell walls. RNA. Reticulate matter. Corneal crumbs. The tips of eyelashes. Tablespoons of plasma. Tongue dust. Human sweetbreads. Saliva oasis on the shoulder of a highway at night.
Oh, say, can you see? At the twilight’s last gleaming, on a highway at night, when the moon pops open and—
Have you ever woken up on a Sunday and noticed that the world changes as the blood pumps through your retinas? It only happens in the morning. On Sundays, when you have time to notice. A spot on the wall moves by a millimeter as a retinal artery fills with blood and lets it go. You wonder: What the hell? How? How is everything you’ve ever seen as malleable as the fluids in your bloodstream? Like you could just reach out and dip your finger into your bedroom ceiling.
You are just particles of energy, pieces and pieces of divinity lumped together from God knows what. God doesn’t even know what.
You’re not religious, though. Neither am I.