‘Basashi is Horse Sushi. This is when I learned’ by Robert C Holzhausen

Basashi is Horse Sushi. This is when I learned.

The last vortex at the end of days
clotted 1,000 feet high
and threw upward some 30,000 leaves
and a shit ton more droplets of water.
It burped 600 tin sheets
and rattled towards us like a homemade buzz-saw.
The world was a vacuum.
The world was agoraphobic.
God made it
and he made it so
and it was ripping itself apart.
It was ripping the world
into halls of junior high schools
filled with paper footballs and Noxema,
Prophylactics and body spray.
New shirts and shoulder bags
housing hash pipes wrapped in socks,
Marlboro lights
and the occasional can of Coke Classic.
We laid down in the tree house
and counted chips in the ply wood.
We looked at them and used them in stories.
You showed me one
of your dog when you were 9.
You showed me his funeral.
We heard Mama in the yard below.
“Take this away from us!
Rise it Lord! Rise it Lord!
Take it away from us Lord.
Take it Lord. Take it Lord. Take it Lord.
Take it away from us Jesus.”
She spoke some in tongues.
We talked of Secretariat and Sham.
I wondered if this was it
or if I’d see Dad at the Derby this spring.
I wondered where he was
and if twisters were there too.
I thought about all them horses.
The thoroughbreds
buried beneath a barn’s remains.
All those thoroughbreds vying for horse immortality
and a triple crown.
I worried about their bodies
after they died.
You told me about basashi
and how it was sushi but with horse.
How it was good
even though you thought it wouldn’t be.
We talked about eating Secretariat and Sham.
Animal Kingdom.
Man O’ War and Holy Bull.
Seattle Slew and Affirmed.
Native Dancer.
We’d eat the whole derby,
so long as it wasn’t us putting em down.
So long as their heads got clubbed
by some unlucky board
or their brains blown cause a cracked hoof.
We’d be happy to eat any of ‘em,
raw, rare or otherwise.
Mama kept prayin.
“Take this away from our home!
As you did for Elijah.
Take it up away from my home.
Take it away from this town.
Take this funnel away from us lord!”
The tree swayed and cracked.
We talked of ginger and wasabi.

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