‘For J.D.’ by Damien Ark


i. all of this hate unending

at the age of nineteen and twenty
i’d spend six to fourteen hours
cleaning and selling fish
high on oxycodone
with a pocketful of calls, emails, and texts
knife in my left hand
i’d cut off a salmon head and
slide it into a sink on the right
full of other fish guts, bones, and heads
as the blade slides down the tail
revealing pink meat
i’d think of you
when crawfish found their way through my glove
pinching me their claws soaked in salt and shit
i’d flatten them with a rubber hammer
i’d stare at their brains and body spattered
and i’d think of you

ii. fish-head soup

i rarely wore a steel mesh cutting glove
and silver scales would often dig into my nails
my hands would scoop up all the slimy viscera
and dump it all into a fifty-pound trash bag
when i’d do it, i’d see myself in them
from ocean or lake to fish hook to styrofoam and plastic
to slaughtered flesh and into dumpster trucks and
dumped right back into the ocean
or to decay and be eaten by maggots on mountains of trash
i fucking felt that
each week i’d sell hundreds of decapitated fish heads
to a man who owned a high-end asian restaurant
whether their eyes were clear and hypnotic
or if they were milky like infectious semen
he would tip me a hundred and fifty
and after my shift
i’d spend it all on my little 30mg instant release pills
smoke out a homeless man that worked in the deli
and beat my head against the steering wheel
after reading your hundreds of psychotic texts

iii. happy birthday

we fucked a few hours ago
i’m playing south park stick of truth
it’s 3AM
and you begin to sob like a maniac
if i won’t commit to you
you’ll commit to suicide
if i won’t commit to you
i won’t be allowed to leave
you bring up your last attempt
i threaten to throw myself out the window
to escape you, even if i end up dead
but by 6AM you have me
still crying, i come home, twenty years old
sobbing into a bloody pillow
as a red house painters song plays again and again

iv. toys r us parking lot

you’re stoned and drunk
you peed yourself and you can’t smell it
you’re too stoned to feel it
you want to get high in the back of the toys r us parking lot
i say that’s stupid, it’ll attract cops
after arguing about it with me, you smoke weed
in the parking lot of an arby’s
and cry even harder than ever before
the scent of piss filling the car
i’m leaving, this is it, but it isn’t
my trauma won’t let it end like this
not until you drunkenly slam your car into someone
and blame it on my anxiety
then make up for it by buying me an anime doll
and get me stoned after i don’t want to get stoned
fish heads
fish guts
why did i never see the red flags
even when you presented them before our first fuck

v. our first fuck

i remember your okcupid
with no profile image uploaded
and just reading david lynch and your taste in literature
was enough to convince me to fuck you as hard as possible
i remember your six feet under poster
you playing Elliott Smith on a Yamaha
telling me that I’d probably like Dennis Cooper
you wanted the lights off and i wanted them on
i wanted to love you in ways you didn’t want
me loving your fat and you hating it
the way it felt inside of you, so warm and tight
even if i did get some shit on my dick
and how i apologized for making you bleed
and after, us sharing our stories about being in loony bins
seay center fish tank and quiet room
it should’ve just ended right then like what the fuck
or at least after you confessed to stalking an ex-boyfriend
in a parking garage and frightening him
oh, that’s probably normal, i thought
sending you a text two weeks later
one of my biggest life regrets

vi. blackmail

i sent you dirty pictures
i remember taking some of them and imagining
that they’d make you think i’m more committed to you
hating you, yet i’d do whatever i could to prevent you
from killing yourself over me
i sent you all these fucking dirty pictures
you sucking my dick
me holding my dick in front of the mirror
dick and face pics ass pics everything
and you sent them to my boyfriend
you threatened to send them to my parents
to my grandmother after tracking down her phone number
you wanted to out me for not loving you
you promised to never delete my nudes from your computer
and so i’ll never delete these words either

Damien Ark is a self-taught outsider writer and an aspiring novelist. You can find and contact him solely through his twitter account.

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