Sky Juice
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Sky Juice

Zachary LaMalfa

I was having an excellent time at the bar. I’d put
11 dollars toward something called Sky Juice
which turned out to be mostly rum. A whole wedge
of pineapple, but not 11 dollars worth, I think
of pineapple. I’d needed those 11 dollars like I need
every 11 dollars, which is to say “badly”
but also, “abstaining won’t save me.”

I was going to stand there talking to Annie. It was
her birthday, but two new people stepped into the backyard
and she went to say hi. I felt like
doing a cartwheel across the yard
between the tiki torches, but didn’t know how. Besides
I would have to disperse the crowd somehow
or cause a lot of expensive drinks to spill.

I sat down at the refurbished picnic table with my cup
of Sky Juice. I took a small sip out of two straws. Everybody
looked up in awe at my cup of Sky Juice, my enormous
pineapple wedge. Annie asked if she could try some.
Annie took a sip of the Sky Juice, and then Max
took a sip of the Sky Juice, and Sarah and Mike

and Jen took a sip of the Sky Juice. At this point I worried
when I got it back I’d find practically half of my 11 dollar
Sky Juice gone. But they’d barely sipped any away
at all, or maybe some ice had melted, the evening
and people’s hands being very warm, and everybody
who tasted it said it tasted pretty good.

I was also warm in my jacket and sweater
my hand cold from the Sky Juice. Mosquitoes began to emerge.
I was going to tell somebody what I really thought
of the bar, the backyard, but realized it was my inability to cartwheel
inappropriately crowning. I lifted my shirt over my head
and revealed yet another shirt.

bird

Also by Zachary LaMalfa

Money for Nothing

Viburnum

Up the Avenue

Sky Juice