Rasputin

Hello Mr. Magazine - - CONTENTS - Noah Michel­son

I want to say it ended be­cause you were, at best, barely an inch long erect, Tom Thumb­nail the ruler of your de­mented em­pire, delir­ium thwarted nightly, the long, low go­ing of go­ing with­out, of sneak­ing off to the bath­room to take care of my­self while you slept, blame and any sub­se­quent re­cov­ery sim­ple as broad­cast­ing the se­cret, rent­ing a tuxedo and un­rec­og­niz­ing my­self and wear­ing it and rec­og­niz­ing my­self beam­ing your shame into ev­ery luke­warm tele­vi­sion set rais­ing its thorny an­ten­nae sky­wards to­wards the po­lice sketch artist’s ren­der­ing of your short­com­ings, and see­ing how lit­tle I had to work with, that our fail­ure had al­ways been im­mi­nent, minted gram for gram along­side any chance of joy, they’d send back a grainy black-and-white “get well soon,” a three hun­dred watt “with our deep­est con­do­lences,” a bou­quet of ded­i­cated sig­nals trem­bling with sym­pa­thy and jolt. As I strove in and out of you—that then my cho­sen em­ploy­ment, my dream job—your re­li­able weather­vane forged of blood and thirst and Fahren­heit pointed due north, ar­row to heaven, ar­row through the sloppy note­book doo­dle of your own heart, sign­post at the cen­ter of the earth from which all things are mea­sured in miles from, in dis­tance to, to which all things are drawn and even­tu­ally de­part, a mid­dling, won­der­fully func­tional survey says five or six inches, en­tirely av­er­age, but, re­gard­less, just as ma­jes­tic as Rasputin’s eleven inches pick­led and bob­bling in its jar at the St. Peters­burg Mu­seum of Erot­ica, snow globed re­mains of the wicked priest who re­fused the poi­son, the bul­lets, death it­self, as if an end­ing was the one thing he could not bear, and all the things you could have been—the wicked priest, the poi­son, the bul­let, barely an inch long—

but you weren’t.

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