Beau Monde
beau monde and extra sausage in the gravy

By Austin Islam

(Illustrated by Stephen Michael McDowell)

we drank two bottles of wine last night, you and i
now it’s 8:45 am and i have stuff in the washer and you’re vomiting bile
it’s always sounded violent the way you do it
the wine was recommended by your new boyfriend Gary
i didn’t really follow his recommendations
lol did you expect me to

you handed me your phone to show me his text
i said ‘i don’t want to read this’
then later i read your inbox, then later i read your chat history
then when i woke up next to you i read your text messages
you slept under the blanket, i didn’t

make me biscuits and gravy like you did last week, from scratch
with beau monde and extra sausage in the gravy
you said ‘the secret is celery salt, this will do’
i said ‘whatever’ and opened another beer
i’m probably only drinking this much because i recently turned 21
probably will give it up soon and go back to smoking weed
‘chiefing’ as a twitter friend reminded me recently

i told you about my internet friends, the best ones
the ones i agree with on important things like music and poetry
you don’t seem to find those things as important
you deleted your facebook for a handful of reasons
one of which i’m sure was so that you didn’t have to deal with me there too

you’re still in the bathroom probably washing up
looking at yourself in the mirror
wonder if you see god in your reflection, i do
see god in you
let’s get some sort of greasy hangover food, i’ll buy as usual
you decide what is tasty, i might eat out of the dumpster behind mcdonald’s
and potentially say ‘this isn’t half-bad’
not really but my tastes don’t compare to yours

feel like i ‘got somewhere’ by reading your private things
feel like i happened upon closure, whatever the heck that means
you just walked in and saw me typing and walked away
probably to go lay down on my bed again, that’s ok
oh wait, nice
you brought my nice pillow and laid down on the couch
in the room with me, getting dog fur on my best pillow

i feel like i could vomit also, not really because of the wine
(i’m not hung over) just because of a general lack of direction
unsure where i’m headed or where i ought to be right now
you used to rub it in my face that you were somewhere cool
and i was stuck in cowtown feeding chicken eggs to men with large bellies
now i feel like neither of us is any better than the other

i don’t know what to say to you
last night i already drunkenly exposed myself, saying things like
‘in the morning i’ll take you shopping, your shoes have holes in them’
‘if you ever need anything at all you know you can call me’
you said
‘what prompted that’
i said
‘no idea how to answer that question’

you’ll drive the hour back home when you’re feeling up to it
i’ll feel marginally more lonely than i do now,
not that you here with my nice pillow on the dog fur couch makes me feel so much better
but when the house is empty except for me i know
it will become slightly more painful
painfully more obvious

say hi to gary for me. play him the forty-minute house mix i put on your ipod
it’s pretty good, and if he has good taste i think he’ll like it
i honestly have no concept of good taste in electronic music
he seems genuinely sweet
i bet he ‘makes you breakfast in the morning’
just laughed at myself
i think i’m gonna be okay


austin islam lives in fort worth (for now)