Jason Walker

On my paisley couch, these Mormon guys smack on rice krispies treats. I lounge on a beanbag, nodding at the words that come between, “Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith.” I ask if they want coffee and they say, “No, thanks, we don’t drink coffee.”

“How’s that spiritually possible?” I say.

“Faith,” the skinny one says, and pats his joyful partner on the thigh.

The happy one burps. I try not to laugh.

“Pardon me,” he says.

“You’re pardoned, big guy,” I say. “What about coffee cake, get it?”

The happy one frowns at his partner and shrugs. I undo my ponytail and sit up.

“Can’t,” he says, “but thanks for the hospitality.”

“Geeze, man,” I say. “You have agency, which is a gift from God, right?”

The skinny one stands up and slaps out a guide to salvation—the cover has a cartoon Jesus on it. He sticks out his hand, waits for me to squeeze it. The happy one does the same, except the guide he gives me is covered in flames.

“Wish we could stay longer,” the skinny one says, eyes on the door.

“Gotta spread the light,” the happy one says. He puts on his shades.

The skinny one finally just grabs my hand and shakes it. Then I shake the happy one’s hand for a good while, scraping the inside of his palm with my index fingernail.

“If you ever want some coffee,” I say in his ear, “you know where to find it.”

 
 
 


Jason Walker lives in Birmingham, Alabama. His poetry recently appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review and Cellpoems. Another short appeared in Monkeybicycle a little while back.