In the after-school special, getting high isn’t my idea. Jason pressures me into buying some “grass” as if we’re in a scene from Reefer Madness. I don’t realize the fog lurking across the bay while hot-boxing Jason's Cadillac at the pier is the perfect metaphor for what comes after a commercial. So when I’m eating in the cafeteria in the next scene, overcome with the smell of fresh cut french fries dripping from the fryer still bubbling with oil I miss how that, too, is a metaphor for desire—how lust heats the blood—every inch of me hot and hungry for marijuana. Later that day we fade into Jason “overdosing” in English class—his body long and pale even against the cream colored tie—the weight of what we’ve done sinks my stomach like a brick of drugs and I come clean to my dad that night at the dinner table. After another quick commercial, Jason, me, and my father talk directly to the camera about the cacophony of devils boys become when temptation, like a steady wind, cuts them down. And now the credits role—lesson learned. No one questions the ending.
Josh Corson is a poet and educator from Tampa, FL. He holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. Josh has received fellowships from places like Tin House, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and others. His work can be found around the web at The Offing, Crab Orchard Review, as well as other journals and mags. He’s usually lurking around on Twitch or playing guitar at home. You can read more of his work at joshcorsonmakes.com