How to Fold a Towel Elephant

by Tim Hayes

FIRST you need a towel,
then you have to want it. Bad.
You have to be vibrating, slightly,
the way pole cats do when I think
of them being electrocuted. You have
to see it there, in the towel, waiting
like whatever the fuck Michelangelo
saw in a block of stone. And I wonder
if maybe he saw the same thing in blocks
of gouda, or sausage, or horseshit. That,
however, doesn't matter. What you need
is a towel and the pathological tingle,
the quasi-vampiric hunger down in the vitriol
humors, to see it transformed into a mammal:
trunked, gray, tusked maybe, thousands of
pounds of it. But you need a towel first.
After that, you're on stage in front of 15,000 people
and it might be Belgium. This happens almost
immediately, so you're afraid this whole thing
won't fly. You've got what they call ''butterflies,''
which are actually intrepid larvae in your
bowels. You probably got them in India, when
you were doing the towel-elephant trick there.
In any case, you're in front of 15,000 hicks
and they're all waving ball peen hammers. Or
at least close to all. You start folding the towel
and nothing happens for a second. Then a bull
elephant rampages through the crowd, goring
Belgians, making a mess of things. There are brains
and puddles of ichor, ball peen hammers strewn
about, their owners fleeing recklessly, forgetting
their ball peen hammers, which they may have
purchased from a hardware store. To tell you the truth,
I don't know where they got them from.
And there are so goddamn many.
So goddamn many ball peen hammers.

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