Eye and Guy
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Who Invited the Monkey to Omen's Party?
Easthampton, Massachusetts

You are enamored by the tall man with a fountain of dreadlocks. You take Lucas's invite to come to Chrissie's. She is a pixie plucked of her wings and missing a wand, tells you she painted your portrait without knowing you. We take your friend's Saturn down a circuitous route, slick with rain like a seal's back to her place. Omen answers the ring in his pocket. His words are slippery. His tongue greased with a drunk alphabet. He chills the nape of your neck with a dewy happy birthday song. Maggie drives the car and if she were naked she would be Botticelli's half-shelled lady. We arrive after many left turns. Lucas pisses in the parking lot. You watch the dirt steam between the isosceles triangle of his legs. You help Omen up the stairs. His left cheek blushes a keloid crescent. You come to an apartment painted mango-insides. A doberman sniffs your patella, and then whips you with his tail when your scent is of no use. Bob Marley reggaes low in the bedroom. Chrissie shows you your face, charcoal and sleeping in an atmosphere of green. The dreadlocked man tells you his name is Kevin. His voice lacks the volume of his hair. He passes you the bong. You've forgotten how to smoke from this glass pipe. You cough. Swallow your spit to extinguish the burning. You exhale. You sit back and watch Omen balance a lighter on your shoe. You offer him water for his vertigo. Alexis arrives with dilated pupils. Omen plays the jembé with his forehead. Then foot. Alexis mumbles, Who invited the monkey to Omen's party? You look at her for clarification: You or Omen. Her porcelain doll eyes don't meet yours. You or Omen? You are the one they just met in the bar. You are the only one in the room that looks like you beside the poster of Buju Banton and the oil painting of the woman that reminds you of the West Indian lady that sells Avon products on Utica Avenue back in Brooklyn. Maggie shares your blinking confusion. She heard too. You both mouth fibs: it was nice meeting everyone. Maggie drives you home. Turns up her protestations and lowers the radio. She steers herself through the fissures that synapsed this occurrence. You smoke a mint Nat Sherman. It's midnight past thirty minutes and it's the first time you ever turned simian.

Arisa White is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. Currently, she resides in Massachusetts where she is a graduate student in poetry at the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a Cave Canem fellow, and her work has appeared in Crate Magazine, A Gathering of Tribes, African Voices, and Sarah Lawrence Magazine.












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