Strengthen, Strengthen, Strengthen
I was trying to paint something gentle. I looked out of the window. There was war.
I don’t want war. I want girls.
A man came to my door. I told him I couldn’t talk then. I told him I was busy. He said I had to go to war. I said,
- Can it wait?
I don’t want war. I want girls. I want Guyanan girls. I want girls from Qatar. I want girls that look like polar bears.
I went upstairs to get my things to go to war. I looked out of the window. War is the colour of processed cheese. I came back down. I said to the man,
- I am a painter. I was trying to paint something gentle.
- That’s too bad.
I want girls who take their own pants off. I want girls who don’t elbow me in the face. I want girls who take deep breaths and let the air out slowly, so it won’t sound like they are sighing. I want Tunisian girls.
I went with the man to the place, to conscript. They looked at my name after I signed it. They told me I had to provide my own armour. The man who told me this had a pillow wrapped around his head. It was held there with string. I didn’t want war.
I want a girl whose thighs move when she moves. I want unfussy girls. I want girls who lie on me and don’t apologise about it. I want girls from Greenland.
I put on cricket shin pads. I tied sponges to my elbows. I selotaped egg cartons to my head. I hung a biscuit tin lid around my neck as a breastplate. I put a fruit bowl in my backpack. About ten of us were doing this.
I want girls with few or no allergies. I want Nepalese girls. I want girls who don’t mind coins jingling in my pockets. I want Norwegian milkmaids.
I wore a teacup as a codpiece. A midget was grinding up eggshells into a fine dust. He rubbed the dust on his arms and his face. He rubbed it on any skin he could see. He was saying,
- Strengthen. Strengthen. Strengthen.
I want girls with clean teeth. I want girls from Guam. I don’t want war. I want girls who’ll count while I do push-ups.
I went to war. I came back home. I went upstairs. Out the window the sky was painting something gentle.
I lived the rest of my life. Sometimes there were girls. Sometimes there are girls.