ESSAY: Bathouse by John Myers

ESSAY: Bathouse by John Myers

I offer to drive us back. God, are you still here? My future echoes into the bathhouse. Two insects fuck. To sit here in the forest my butt gets all over this University of Montana sweatshirt. I can’t get tired of mosquitoes in a poem, can I?

The asparagus has gone to seed. Did I mention travel? These ferns reminded me of it. Kind of like how the mirror, earlier, reminded me of something I can’t read but probably my cock. This ant reminds me of spaghetti right now. Reader, explain why to God.

My face is open again, outdoors, to travel. God lets my face go again. I put my face into a pan of white asparagus soup and anyone can see that.

I wipe off my face with ferns and travel. This old bathhouse with its shit mirrors. Ants like to crawl on food and they crawl on me because I usually have food all over me. Bringing God to the table and all the assumptions fall down.

It was just enough time to put my cock away. Packing myself for traveling and that is only the first step. The second step is growing up and moving away from Cleveland. The next steps are all reading and thinking and shaking off my University of Montana sweatshirt.

I don’t enjoy dead mosquitoes in the mouth. But I like when they’re placed on my tongue by honeybees. As long as the honeybees are paying attention and love me back.

Am I hungry or do I feel hungry? What about thinking? I like this poem. My mosquito bites I take as gifts. Am I given to so often, normally? Write a song just for me you can use all these words. Use the ant, reader.

I used the ant. If the ant stayed Formica from last time. Ask algebra anything interesting and it won’t stretch, either. I want something sweet to run towards. In two days, God, let’s go back to traveling. Reader and I are done thinking or I’m done with it. He can do what he enjoys. Those soups and cooking and reading I bet he likes my sneakers.

I left them over in my locker at the bathhouse but this bathhouse is only here so I can write on my cock. God, can you leave my face alone? My pants are on top of that chair so much so that I can’t even tell if they’re in the forest, still, or not.

If I remember correctly it’s the kind of chair that looks really cute.

I add Boston to this.

God, what’s my cock until it comes down from the ceiling? This forest is so lame sometimes. Look around for your reader. When I fall asleep does he? My sunglasses are bored from not being in the sun.

Tell the assumptions to go away. My back feels supple and my head feels heavy when I think about it. Here is my body as it wounds. How fast is wind? When I was a Boy Scout I knew.

In the bathhouse, in Boy Scouts, in windy weather, in reading, I find myself. My thinking gets wet, explores. Dead leaves are eaten by whom? I peed in them again. The porcupine again!

What else did I think was so rare but began seeing everywhere? That was from another poem by me and I inspired myself to look at my cock again.

Which bored me.

How many things do I have only one of? One cock. One piece of skin, contiguous. One thinking. Or many because ten years feels like a long time. The ant I don’t remember what happens to it next.

Maybe it’s turning?

When I sat down my face felt fine and it still does but now I hear more wind and I have more to tell you. I don’t care that I have mosquitoes because so does Cleveland. I thought about my face because of that mirror.

When I assume you know me just from knowing what my cock looks like then what does my God look like or my family or town? Just as an example, my town is small and shaped like a block of wood. My town gives me a place to live and forgets to reward my stretching.

I don’t stretch but I do don lace for dinner. My reader serves me some steam and my favorite foods. His favorite foods are potatoes au gratin and white asparagus soup. My God is a lot of German things and she encourages me all the time. Even when I put the dried skin from my neck all over the forest I am happy.

I grew up in Cleveland but now I have mosquito bites. Assume that mosquito bites are soothed by wind. This real live forest and some of the trees are dead. The bathhouse is dead tonight, it’s just me and God. My God and I put the mirror away in my own special way. Closing the mirror for privacy. I bet dogs can smell the cum in my pee when I haven’t cum in a long time.

When I sat down insects began to explore me. But I was in a thick wood and my neck felt like a handful of tiny stones. My face felt good but my neck felt rocky. All these feelings attempt me.

I make an assumption about other insects from the ones I’ve found. Explain to your brother that trees aren’t cannibals. That piss deters insects. How rare it is to see a porcupine.

When I sat down the assumption was that I was resting. Did you see me from above? What did my feet look like, my legs? I’m no longer flexible because no one gives me treats for stretching. Stretching used to earn me something. All these elm and ferns and my neck like a shoreline I praise. From up above you can see my shuffle.

My head isn’t always where I think. A mosquito bit me on the elbow. This happened yesterday, too.

[photo by Mark Andrews/Flickr]

More Like This

Electric Lit’s Best Nonfiction of 2023

Nicole Chung, Claire Dederer, Lamya H, Maggie Smith, and Samantha Irby are among the year’s most loved books of nonfiction

Dec 5 - Electric Literature

7 Memoirs About Addiction by Women Writers

Claudia Acevedo-Quinones recommends intimate stories about the struggle with drugs and alcohol and the journey to recovery

Dec 5 - Claudia Acevedo-Quiñones

A Childhood That Defies Gravity

"The Art of Levitation" from SHADOWS AND CLOUDS by Marcus Stewart, recommended by Clyde Derrick

Dec 4 - Marcus Stewart
Thank You!