We Bastards

by Justin Courter

WE were discussing Plato that evening, walking through a suburb so pristine it seemed to be in miniature, when my friend upended a can on the sidewalk, ripped open a bag and began rummaging. Oh man, he said, gnawing on a used pork chop. I thought you gave up eating junk, I said. I can't believe people throw this stuff away, he said. There were coffee grounds around his mouth and pieces of eggshell on his glistening fingers. The owner of the garbage came out of his model home and said, Hey, that’s not for you. My friend at this point was on all fours, vigorously shaking a chicken carcass clamped in his jaw. Have you ever read The Republic? I asked the owner. Well, I tried philosophy for a while, he said, and it didn’t get the dishes done, that's for sure. But this has got to stop, he said, pointing down at my friend. As you can see, this is not my dog, I said, and I think you'll agree that you cannot expect me to believe you to have emerged from such a tiny house. Look, the owner said, you bastards keep still inside your university--this is a nice quiet town of god-fearing motherfuckers.

Previously published in The Death of the Poem and Other Paragraphs (Main Street Rag, 2008).

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