Wherever It Is
    David Lazar
Beauty may be only skin deep, but so's hell. Men were the whores of Babylon, wearing silky things that draped the disguise. If she were a man, and I were a woman, I'd want her to be a woman and I'd want to be a man. But I don't think she thinks that. I don't think she thinks that way. I don't know how she thinks, and even if I did, our cells are far away and the men in blue say the only way we're ever going to talk is at a happy hour in hell.

But we're in hell, I tell them.

They think I'm as a crazy as a rummy directing traffic at Thirty-Fourth and Fifth. But maybe that rummy isn't so crazy.

Maybe that rummy is an apostle who lived too long. Or maybe just some joe who saw into the black heart of the world, like the way you lift up a rock and God knows what's underneath. And he couldn't take it.

I can take it because I know we're in hell. And because that's the jive, there's nowhere to go but up. She and I, we'll have plenty of time to talk, wherever it is we're going.

David Lazar is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University. He has edited Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher and Michael Powell: Interviews for the University Press of Mississippi. His essays and prose poems have appeared in The Anchor Essay Annual, The Best of The Prose Poem, Southwest Review, Chelsea, The Denver Quarterly, The Ohio Review, and other journals and magazines. Best American Essays has cited his "Notable Essays of the Year" four times.


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