Dependable Lies

By Isaac George Lauritsen

Featured Art: Untitled by Amina Toure

I’m sorry I couldn’t make it
to your dinner party.
In the process of developing
a mango sorbet
the machinery spun so fast
that a black hole came into existence
at the bottom of the bowl
and put my kitchenware into orbit
forcing me to utilize a butterfly net
to return the room to normalcy.
I’m sorry I couldn’t join you
for an afternoon at the beach.
After I put on my newly bought
swim trunks, my house swarmed
with brand ambassadors, so I spent all day
shooing them away with air horns
and last season’s bottle rockets.
Also, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it
to your godson’s confirmation.
On my way there, I drove into a fog
but the fog stayed surrounding the car
for what felt like twelve years
so I stopped driving and considered
what I couldn’t understand
such as the many unanswerable questions
that accompany existence
and as I started to choke up
the fog choked up too
with a bit of perspiration.
I couldn’t tell if I was being
empathized with or mocked
which caused me to question
every friendship I’d ever had.
Seriously. I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it
to your grandma’s b-day get-together.
As I was dressing in formal attire
my hair became sentient
and rebellious, rearranging itself
out of the mousse I’d used
to command it. Every time I felt
my hair snaking about in its mischievous
way, I returned to the mirror
to find a new shape.
At times, my hair was abstract
and chaotic. At other times
it represented better things:
towers, trees, a range of
mountains with follicles of
birds arcing over my head’s horizon.
At one point, my hair became
your grandma who informed me
that I looked like an absolute
ragamuffin. I didn’t feel like explaining
irony to your grandma-who-was
my-hair, so I went back to sleep.
Finally, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it
to your absolute rip-roaring banger
of a potluck. I wasn’t myself that night.
It’s just that I was the lemon rind
curved to the lip of the martini glass
that had become my life.

Isaac George Lauritsen is most often located in Chicago. His recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Blood Orange Review, Cola Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Fourteen Hills, and TIMBER. You can look at his photos and illustrations on Instagram: @ig_laurit.

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