Bouncing Back

By August Spencer

The next bar we went to had two-dollar PBR tallboys that you gotta tip at least a dollar on, and I talked at length with Eva’s old boss, a guy named Austin, whom I cannot wait to see again, he’s an Astrophysics major who runs the COVID lab here, and we talked about entropy, which was prompted when I made the comment that “Y’know I’ve been thinking a lot about entropy recently,” which really got a laugh out of him, the idea that I’m just lying awake at night thinking about heat-death, because I mean, yes, dude, that’s so real, and he explained to me some of the extant literature about the ultimate cooling of the universe, which implies a grand-condensing of all matter after the expansion is finished (assuming the universe is what we currently understand it to be), so on the last warm day everything will come rushing back and what if we get to relive it all again one more time in one long rewind, what if we move through our wounds backwards, our bodies forgetting the pain having never known it, what if my PBR rises, clean and refilled from the floor of this port-a-potty, back into my hand, and what if I come home to you and we get another year, and our showers are magic water-siphons that uptake all the soap and motion we push off each other, and your night routine lets you bottle your moisture and the beautiful scents of your skin as I brush hair back onto my face with my razor, and what if we move from sweating and sore back toward sensitivity, our heartbeats thudding from labored to fluttering as we exit our embrace, as the light creeps up through the trees and our shirts soar magnetized over our heads, you treading soft with your back to your studio as desire leaves your eyes and focus reenters them to begin again your ritual of meticulously layering lines of graphite back into your pencils, my routine existing in taking typed-pages from beside you, one by one, back to the kitchen, where I unword, from the bottom-up, memories and details of a date we’re about to go on as soon as your canvas is blank and the poetry is gone, and all the times I walk our dog I first conjure his plastic-wrapped turds out of the trashcan to place gingerly onto the ground for him to enact some horrible unmaking, and don’t get me started on what our dinners look like, but the workdays (those are the funniest) watching people come in to the thrift store as I pay them to take their ovens and couches, only for me to drag them to the back, one by one, and suck the glue out of the chair legs, and loosen every screw in the tables, and go through a pile of filthy rags that cake dirt into every refrigerator until the stock-room is filled and a truck comes to take it all away, which means I can come back home to you, as you reverse down the interstate from Asheville, having slowly deleted a hundred spreadsheets and left a dozen meetings that honestly were as productive as they are now in reverse, and we can spit out our coffees together and you can hand me your now-filled tupperware that I packed you, so I can place each peach slice back onto a pit in a daily fuzzy puzzle, and I unwalk our dog before we unbrush our teeth, and we unlove each other every backwards morning until the day where I haven’t met you and the universe grows cold and small and still. 

About the author

August Spencer (@augustspencer on Instagram) is currently moving forward through time as a student at Clemson University. He has been previously published in The Esthetic Apostle, Chaleur Magazine, and Prometheus Dreaming.

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