Laura Tsunami Li
Thoughts and Prayers / No More Thoughts and Prayers
Thoughts and Prayers
Hark! Here come the nights when we breathe in dirty air. You smell like sweat and nicotine and sickening sweet vape reminiscent of my piss when I’m in ketosis. Which is always, now. Just because you keep living doesn’t mean you stop dying. At least we’re dying slowly now, but remember. Time moves relative to how fast we’re moving, and suddenly, we’re going 90 on the interstate, and the air moves too slowly for me to breathe.
We’re in a burning city, just taking in the scene. You smell like sweat and nic and ketosis. We count each others’ ribs like a twisted midnight countdown on the coldest New Year’s Eve. We did what we had to, but let me tell you something. There is no such thing as a war of necessity, only the lies we tell ourselves to help us sleep at night.
The future sounds like a prayer: after, after, after. Say it three times in the mirror, and maybe your God will appear. Only, Houston, we have a problem. The mirrors all broke when we decided our souls were too ugly to look in the eye. Now we have to throw our wishes at something more durable than God. When you sleep, your lungs sound like they’re caving in. If I throw my wishes at you, I’d have nothing left to count at night.
First they kill the children, then they kill the heroes, then they kill everyone you love and tell you this is the way the world should be. I will be on the wrong side of history, and you will be dead. Either way, we still think we did the right thing. I always wanted to be a martyr until I met you. You smelled like sweat and smoke, and firelight has always been a good look on you. I didn’t believe in God until the desquamation of your skin and flesh and blood. As the proverb goes: if the flames were made to worship, then so will I. Amen!
No More Thoughts and Prayers
Do you remember what easy love feels like? I swear love wasn’t always this desperate. We didn’t always hide in mirrorless caves. We were beautiful once. But then they killed the children, and then they killed the heroes, and then they killed everyone we loved. Maybe it’s a good thing that we didn’t fall in love until it was too late. This is the way the world should be.
You smell like blood and burning flesh, but I am done writing about the way you smell. I have breathed in enough dirty air, and now the only sense I have left is touch. Your skin feels like ripples in a cold lake. It’s a good thing we don’t have mirrors anymore. I’m sorry about that, by the way. I threw my wishes at them, and they broke. I guess I should have thrown them at you. I was on the wrong side of history, and you were dead for a little bit. How many more fires until they realize that God never dies?
I still count your ribs at night. There is no such thing as a war of necessity, and I know that now, so I don’t sleep. You sleep. After all, this war was never yours. It was mine. You fought for me, though. Why? I stopped praying at night because you told me you loved me, and you made it to me. You do love me. And maybe I do too. I confess that I have never known what love really feels like, only fire.
Time moves relative to how fast we’re moving, so let’s slow it down. Maybe if we just stop moving, we can all cheat death. I am willing to forget that just because we keep living doesn’t mean we stop dying. Life, even as little as this, will be worth it when I die. Or maybe, you’ll let me have this for eternity. Easy love. Was it a dream? Only, dreams do come true in this place, despite the bonfires that might say otherwise. After all, this is heaven. Even heaven has dirty air.