Bloodstream making the user immune. Val can’t be bothered to commit acts of treason. Val got a minty-fresh mouth. Plastic jacket rubs against her skin. Val removes her D&G sunglasses off. Her gaze is located in ancient times. She struggles for breath. A tourist bus. National Guard hang out smoking Camels. Murderous results in the headlines of The New York Times. Val in a wood cabin. Warm bed this morning. Val doesn’t use a tape measure. A voice commands Val. A paper bag full of Seroquel. Val gets into a car. Val ploughs into the trees. After forty minutes, Val gives up and heads back to the subway. A new side part in her hair. Skyscrapers and ugly scenes. Sick rooms and street vendors. Val cuts her hair by the light of kerosene lamp. The inside of the refrigerator is a landscape of chocolate bars, delicatessen pickles, luncheon meats, butter trays and vegetable crispers. Hotel guests in town for a travel agent conference. Valet service. Val works as a telephone psychic. The apartment is not hers. It’s a dump. The apartment looks onto a small side street. The backyard leads to a public park. Locks are latched. Stockings fastened. Jackhammers crank up. Val drops the watering can. She kneels, touches the water that’s soaks the doormat. This is paralysis. People place their eyes on Val. Flesh folds over Val’s belt buckle. Mechanisms undulate. Claws on the police wagon, Engines rip Val apart. Targets painted scarlet. Val’s lips glaze. Sunrise again. Sleepiness under the Brooklyn Bridge overpass. Dirt. Windblown dust. Refrigerators. Cardboard boxes. Rotten copies of The Wall Street Journal. Half-sheets, advertisements for Prada products. Cum sun-starched to the wall. Bodies drowned by shampoo. Standing sodden outside NYC. A still sunrise. Val is an empath. Val gets rhinoplasty. Bruises on Val’s wrist from skateboarding. Paper hat pushed off her forehead. Hair tufts through a tear in the hat. Rain and Upper West Side smells like canine. CVS pharmacy catalogues on backseat of cabs. Video rentals with torn posters in window. Val’s mouth glistens. A crudely-made noose around her neck. She is barefoot, standing on sandy ground. No chair holds her up. No chair she can kick from beneath. She stands with the noose around her neck. Movie poster on alley wall. Rain dripping. Immense rainfall over baseball fields. Car parked at the front entrance of tenement. Dew under the girders of Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. Transsexual men making settlements out near Hell Gate. Orange headbands around their foreheads. Donut hawkers on the forecourt of the United Nations. Val in the subway. All lit up. Val holds her weapon. She fires a single shot. Her head disappears entirely. A torrent of blasts rip in a burning house. Bricks destroyed. Cement vaporises. Wood splinters. Clouds of dust and fireworks. Tanks in Times Square fishtail sideways. Soldiers stomp heads. Coffee shop for lease. Retail shop for lease. Chest pockets on police uniforms. Armoured vehicles to the right of soldiers. Armoured vehicles roll down the street. Smouldering houses. Fire fighters strip to their smalls… NYC bombed back to Year Zero. Mouths open but no sound coming out. Canons adjust. Canons erupt. Cacophony. Dust and bullshit. Police pound the steel bodies of abandoned cars. Scrap metal, flint sparks, glass shatters. The vehicles are aflame. Val drops her wine glass. She’s bored, stacked and tied in twine. Heat against the apartment blocks. A tap drips. A coffee cup. Apartment doors above the street open. Cab drivers stand in phone booths. They hand out copies of the New York Post. Cab drivers throw patterns, strobing shapes onto the sidewalk. People head out of NYC via the Trinity Church Cemetery. A camera pans across Val’s face. Horses plod . Shoe polish washes from synthetic leather. Val wears no socks. Her exposed ankles. Insect bites on scabby bone. Mud on gabardine. A locust lands on Val’s belt buckle. She inhales glue from a plastic bag. Val pours water on the doormat. Val’s hair is unruly, ridiculous. She’s in her early twenties. Cheekbones are gaunt. She waters the doormat. The door opens. A chubby, cigarette-chomping man. She’s dressed in pyjamas and a dressing gown. Hair is combed-over. He’s furious with Val. Plastic bag up to Val’s nose. Val waters the doormat. Inhales the glue fumes. Val holds the plastic bag toward the combed-over man. The man slams the door. Val waters the doormat. The battered door. Throat gurgle rises from the street. Bruises. Trains in the railyard pull out. Blood drains from Val’s nose. No need for faces in NYC. Spit cloth around shoes at Grand Central Station. Unsound chairs. Val has a bath in the restroom sink. Jehovah’s Witnesses with clipboards. Post-humans jammed up the front of the Staten Island Ferry. Jackhammers and drills. Re-examining of infrawaves under the East River. Livers and lungs wash ashore in Astoria. Indefinite lifespan in Val’s sweat pores. She slides, then penetrates her body. Sea and space colonies outgrow modern civilization. Robotic self-replication, molecular manufacturing. The homeless taking giant shots of Spanish Brandy. The undefined innocence of Val doesn’t exist. Her physical beauty is a physical burden. Her physical manifestation is vileness / cruel attributes. Societal trauma is brilliant.
Shane Jesse Christmass is the author of the novels, Police Force As A Corrupt Breeze (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2016) and Acid Shottas (The Ledatape Organisation, 2014). He was a member of the band Mattress Grave, and is currently a member in Snake Milker. An archive of his writing/artwork/music can be found at www.sjx.digital.