Listen to Tacoma Apothecary
read by Christina Cook
Jars, beakers, bottles; matte leather and glossy dark wood. Either cayenne gin or vodka steeped in saffron and cardamom bitters. Never mind how he looked sort of sad when he drank: he felt a flowering push up through the fine chainmail he wore under his purple checked Prada shirt. Never mind what woman had bought it for him twenty years before: juniper bloomed like tattoos from his chest and the fever from loving her dropped to a low hum that steadied his pulse; or was that the cayenne in the gin; right then he decided to forge a flight of nickel steps to heaven for her, which she no doubt would pronounce a gimmick: she’d see right through his “final offer,” not bothering to look up from the silent film with German subtitles she was watching in bed. At night he’d dream she wore only lipstick and feathers while the wind reached through him his whole way home from the bar. His mantra was metal, and his shadow clinked with the weight of the human predicament he found himself in, again and again and again.