Andrea Jane Kato

Death Joke

And then she collapsed like a star. And then
he collapsed like twelve stars. And then she

was reborn as a mermaid. And then he transformed
into gases and rose into the atmosphere and reached

out toward black oblivion as if it were his wife
and he was seeing her for the last time. And after

her scales sparkled and she drowned, she dissolved
into the water and then evaporated into the clouds.

And then he remembered things in bright bursts like
the black stitches across his face like little railroads

the large box of oranges he threw at the girl running
away, small puddles of ice cream everywhere. And when

the sunlight struck her, burning through her wetness,
she spent days dying on repeat and then coming back to life.

And then he became scared of these memories
and drifted off to sleep. And then when

she came back from her multiple deaths,
she clawed onto a place in a dream with

luscious green everywhere, lovely rivers
running, five-story watermelons to run

in circles around. And in his sleep
he saw many pretty girls and these

many pretty girls danced for him,
like majestic trees swaying but then

all stop to vomit gold and jewels,
everything becomes like a kaleidoscope,

and he dies and goes to Heaven. And then
she got a chainsaw and carved a cave

into the watermelon to climb into and some
of the pink-red innards collapse and she

dies and goes to Heaven. And when in Heaven
he starts to sing like he never knew he could.

He starts to dance like gravity does not exist.
He starts to feel a boundless love for everything

that he has never felt comfortable with before.
And there, in heaven with watermelon juice still

fresh and sticky all over her, she is overwhelmed
and starts to sob. And there in Heaven she gets

sent elsewhere and she realizes that her existence
will consist of falling from the sky, puddling, and

evaporation, forever, doomed to be eternal rain.
And there, in Heaven, he realizes he is not in Heaven at all,

he is at a rave.

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