Easter Lily in the Wasteland

Hazy morning smog fills the lungs of two sacks of entwined flesh; the mental unsteadiness from a night barely remembered outside of sensations of a vague variety best not spoken about in polite company. As eyes slowly process the cheap hotel walls, of the petals of faded roses, and bodies revolt at the sheets with thread counts in the dozens, they ask themselves precisely what bar or club or debutante’s ball they met one another at. The room almost seems to laugh, the box springs sharply strained, and the end tables too small for more than a clock stifle it while the stained shallow carpet, purple as putrefying flesh, shakes its head. As with all hedonistic activities, they will never be quite certain as to how it began.

While a city which is never asleep becomes more restless than restful, the two fight off their respective mutual poundings in the head. Slowly, the baronet pulls his head off the psychologist’s chest; skin red and pressed, a shirt left improperly folded for too long. This act confirms that sleep is now out the window, though both still wonder if their merriments will soon be in turn.

He remembered they were a recently graduated psychologist, and they remembered he was the eighth son of a baron, but their respective names not only were obfuscated, but remained entirely lost and buried to the sands of time, the sands of an inebriated mind. A general question: What to call one another to not ruin this sweet spell?


Hey yourself.

Do you…?

I blame the PMs I drank last night

A seventh cousin of mine might’ve taken offence to that.

A half dozen stories down, the first bartender in the city begrudgingly opens the door to what will likely be another shift. She’ll be hit on by the same corps of pigs, and half a dozen new swears in her pocket; the joys of being in a mediocrely clean district.

The window creaks: shoddy prefabricated craftsmanship evident enough from a distance, but upon closer inspection leading to wonder about the state of rot in the wood. He rises a touch, trying without looking to find his glasses from the end table. Noting that such extraordinary movements are allowed, they reach to the floor, quickly finding a fine leather briefcase; a tag states their name, but he does not notice.

What are you looking for?

My glasses.

You wear glasses?

Why else would I be looking for them?

I don’t remember you wearing them.

I wear glasses.


He entirely leaves the bed, face furrowed trying to not make a fool of himself in front of them. Such a sense of propriety extends both ways, as they remove from their briefcase a small book and a fountain pen. They write quickly, letting him maintain his pride by remaining in a cat’s state.

This carpet is disgusting.


I said this carpet is disgusting.

Oh, yes. Like a dancing school of fireflies were split upon, above it, and left to bleed.

I- uhh…

Silence envelops the room. He feels something cool on his unsocked foot: metal and glass. Bending down, it is indeed what he has searched for. With that comfortable weight back upon the bridge, he relaxes from the comment made.

Half a block away the blonde haired youth, squared in his prime, stands upon a street corner, antiquated newsprint in hand. A novelty, to be sure, but some people yearn for some part of an imagined past which they have never been a part of. That’s at least what he believed. It kept his thoughts off the very real fear of some band setting their sights upon him: Fascists never change.

I was a poetry minor.

Oh? That explains something, at least.

Pray, do tell?

Well, I vaguely remember something you said to me last night amidst whatever noise was going on.

Once more, with gusto: Pray, do tell?

There were a whole bunch of nice sounding sweet things as we undr-

There is no reason to burn it into your memory, should you regret this.

No, no- I-

Oh- I-

They look to one another; they lounge still with diary in hand as he leans against a bedpost draped with a scarf. Mouths open and close, uncertain as to who should speak.

From the streets below, the fruit vendors of the adjacent market have set up their stalls. Indeed, a small child, preying on her lacklustre stature requisitions a handful of citrus fruit to feed herself for a day: The yellows, greens and oranges may make her lips pucker, but at least she doesn’t have her teeth falling out like the gang of boys down the street from her current lodgings within an abandoned factory of some kind; maybe a cannery for an obscure brand of dog food.

You said to me ‘Lose the pulse of time…’ That’s what I remember.

And I said things before this, and after?

I- yes: yes you did.

Across the river and standing beside his wife, a trophy husband ensures that this mayor’s crowning achievement, a bridge, is perfectly framed. This was his fifth rehearsal for the ceremony, and he, desolate with her beauty, had a fortnight more until it was concluded. She’d be hung, drawn, and quartered if he ever let her constituents know how much she’d embezzled for her party, though he’d likely not make it more than a week without being found suspiciously deceased.

And when did I say it?

Between tender moments, but prior to passionate ones.

Then I know.

They rise out of bed, leaving their pages behind. Sauntering without a care between their eyes, they approach him from behind, wrapping their arms around his waist; pulled in tightly. It is an instinct they did not know they had in them; nor was he expecting this display of affection, but is willing to see where this leads. A peck on the neck, followed by a series, slowly moving to his ear.

Breast to breast and limb to limb, seize our happiness and bind it—lose the pulse of time and find it, free as vagrant seraphim.

It is a typical April morning and a couple, amidst time and stars eterne, heads for breakfast.

Jackson Martin is the author of this piece.

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