All tagged #gabrielthomasfiction

"DIRTBAG DREAMS" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

We lived in a tiny shit hole 

above a crack den 

in downtown San Diego. 


We slept on the floor 

and purchased 

the cheapest food 

and cooked it 

inside a closet sized kitchen. 


And we worked. 


We worked, 

as the homeless roamed the streets, 

as the traffic and parking 

attempted to murder us. 


And the west coast sunsets, 

they brought me back to life, 

and there was always something to do, 

but we never had the money to do much. 


So we walked the city 

and watched the tall buildings 

with the light and glass dancing. 


The Bay was that way, 

Coronado over the bridge, 

and we had a pet snail named ‘Hank’. 

He lived inside an old salad container, 

and we loved him. 


We loved him 

because he was life 

and we were life 

and we were living. 


We shopped at thrift stores 

and tried new foods, 

and in all our time 

we were wondering 

what we could do with our dirtbag dreams in this behavioral sink.  

"ELEPHANT" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

ELEPHANT

 

I remember the circus

and the elephant.

I remember standing in a line

with other children,

and we were silent.

 

We were all pondering

this real monster

so close to us.

 

Frightened.

In awe.

Five at a time,

we rose up

wooden stairs

to a platform.

 

A man would move us in and over then.

Our legs straddling the beast

like a cowboy’s.

 

Cameras flashed.

Smiling mothers goggled.

Their babies so adorable on an elephant.

Then a man would say,

“Let’s go, Lisa”

and the elephant would move.

 

She moseyed

around a large ring

on a dirt floor

in the center

of the circus tent

five children on her back.

 

I waited my turn

(with the other silent and terrified).

I watched the elephant’s long sways,

her colossal legs taking ginger steps 

in slow motion.

 

I watched  those pillars move.

I watched her toenails,

her ears flapping like sails,

that long impossible trunk.

I watched her.

 

I watched her,

and when she was close enough,

I  looked at one of her eyes.

 

I saw her eye

and in her eye

I saw her,

and

in her eye

I saw that she saw me.

 

I saw that she saw me

but saw me

from some depth,

from some place,

some inner world,

I couldn’t imagine.  

 

But when I looked at her,

I saw goodness.

 

I rode in the front

behind a skull

as wide as a coffee table.

Her smell was strong and thick and animal,

and the way she moved…

 

She moved like a rock that changed shape.

She moved like a rock that moved like water.

And when she moved,

she moved around the circle

in the circus tent,

and I was so high in the air.

 

She could have done terrible things to us.

To anyone.

Something that powerful.

She could have done anything.

No one could have stopped it.

But she didn’t.

She was good.

 

She was magnificent.