For three minutes I was the last human being on Earth. I saw the second to last person get rooted in place mid-sprint. The momentum made his shins crack and poke through his skin and his socks. Then he folded like laundry. I went in circles up the stairwell and tried to ignore the sound of metal scraping inside the walls of the office building. The windows shattering in sets story by story. I made it to the roof and I let out a dry whimper as I saw the skyline strangled with PVC, carbon steel, plastic. I watched the buildings buckle and break and be suspended by the overgrowth of piping that vomited from the soil. Gas and sewage and water and every fluid a body can leak. The building shook again. I felt a pipe fitting slip over my tailbone like suckling lips and snake up pursed over each vertebrae.

Street level bark splintering to scandent serpentine. The flight of birds paused, held in place, stilted. Pillars that pierced. Breaches sprout from sidewalks and streets. Holes the birthplace of branches. Far from the only one that spent calories and seconds clawing at gusts of wind. I saw little ducts that peered out from fingertips. The eyes of shy children. Fountainheads resting on wrists that make crown shapes because the bodies are and are upon thrones.

And with the click and clack of clavicle making room for extension expansion. Ribcage rotation and organs cut loose to collect according to gravity. Pneumatics to pry and plunge a path to visceral vacancy. I feel the other side of the world and all of this that pumps in between.

global villagers : load bearing locution just as the buzzing of hives, the whirring of jets, and the gulping of the garbage disposal filling gulches with raw meat : exoterica to the utmost : drool out publication of purpose and virulence of charity.

Why ask cores or consider centers : eyes welded and blueballed, stagnant and sulfuric : world is spinning same as it ever was : Fresh with arterial eureka and magna mater glow : a glistening on the elbows via licentious lubrication : corroding ruts arrested by droplets : abdomen peels along the borders of musculature and steam erupts in jets : clean and white : pureed cockroach materia dammed by rigor mortis : it discovers a route or rather crafts one : once dispensed keloid closure ensues.

inanima triumphant ! the brass trumpeted from the guts of the world ! un-clogged concerts ! some of us are end pieces and some of us are joints ! the notes don’t dance to our systems ! they flush and boil and channel.

/// something dredged \\\

She held her knees to her chest. Each rusty squeak made her grip a little tighter, made her next breath a little harder to take. She had listened to her children wake and cry down the hall. She heard the dogs whining from the backyard. The voices were drowned out by the aching moans of the house, squeezed and impaled. Then the walls were still and she noticed the silence.

She only moved when the piping that encased her home let a beam of light slip through the window. It cast on the body of her husband in the hallway right outside the door. He faced upwards and stood limbless. His head was a rimmed bowl of bone and marrow and as she approached she saw the brass faucet that rose from the center. Pristine and shining even as his skull seeped. Her hand took the wheel and twisted it righty-tighty and the jaws that lurked beneath her pressed the two together.

\\\ hook line and sinker ///

the clench and release of prostatic pendulum

body no more than worm shape | skintube fleshrod meatsilo | shaft housing sphincters

a build-up down the street but the pressure builds then pops free | shower spouting from a head after dislocating a jaw and cracking teeth

tubular evacuation from bloodwork plumbing | fiberglass cumHearth jettisons pipes from below the foundation piercing pelvic floors | setting a destiny of | output / faucet _ release \ spigot |

the big shiverSource is that you think it might feel good to take a life | some fucking secret | surface water to acknowledge adrenaline | take a drill.pill | a tingle or tickle mothers a reflex and with crampClamp contractions something inside exits

ballcock to float ball to floor flange | i open secondToLast’s mouth and the throat draws forth water, draws forth carbon monoxide, draws forth bile and quim and spermRich salivations, and draws forth ichor that swam in godly networks | uvula chimes and the vibration disseminates

the valve twists | nozzleMe blooms | my petals are stainless steel with flesh betwixt and my turgescence directs me sunward | i, orifice, guzzle and nurse on every beam i catch to funnel into the whirlpool flows of our tanks below | basal belly boiler

Vivian Cartagena writes short fiction that can be found on Expat Press and Sludge Lit. She can be found @weirdal_andalus.

*Image credit: Maria Martins, ‘The Impossible, III’, 1946.