Michael Cocchiarale

We Opened and We Opened and We Gorged to Save Our Lives

We opened things and ate them, one or two at first, savoring each morsel until they stormed in there and told us to get going, which we did more quickly, shoveling and gobbling, more and more, teeth bearing down upon the things that ran hand-to-mouth faster than we could chew, and more and more we came to eat the things because they said Otherwise you’re going to be swallowed by it, chewing on and on, crumbs flying, a few of us stepping back to battle a choke before blistering taunts from one or more of them who moved now up and down the aisles saying Faster and more, and we dug in deep with greater focus, to show them, even catching up with contents for a while, which angered them to the point where they said Eat the packaging, wrappers and boxes, and the faster we worked the more elbows flew and noses bled smacking and chomping and tearing Lori calling out that Harry had broken a tooth and Kat mash spilling from her lips spat Truth—a broken truth!—and as we inhaled more and more knocking heads and clawing arms we lost Kat not that we had time to stop and think what they might have done to her because there was more stuff coming cases and pallets and some after so long could not keep up so they sank under all that was still to go their cries quickly lost in all the crunching on and on until a cracking hard like bones or truth (not that anyone would say) and they really getting into it now started chanting Come on come on come on whipping hats at their behinds they cried It’s simple: When everything’s consumed, all those voices you’re not hearing will promptly go away. 

Michael Cocchiarale is the author of the novel None of the Above (Unsolicited, 2019) and two story collections: Here Is Ware (Fomite, 2018) and Still Time (Fomite, 2012). His creative work appears online as well, in journals such as Fictive DreamPithead Chapel and Atticus Review.

A Song for Michael

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