Mortal Combat | L. Desharnais | The Hypocrite Reader

L. Desharnais

Mortal Combat


Essayant de mettre en acte un futur antérieur articulant sans prétention les catégories de l’oubli et de l’attente.

                               —Maurice Blanchot

Oblivion seekers or Vengeance by Camilla Wills, after Isabelle Eberhardt.


Will have squatted down at the river to piss by the time finished smoking cigarette. Will have tried to hide between the reeds and sumac but in the end don’t mind to fail. Body was never only own but also poverty’s and wealth’s. River and surrounding buildings like smeared paint palette of rampike beige, grey and mute green. Birches shiver into the warm weather as if expecting a knife fight. For blood to enter the scene. Snow melt and ice gone to leave muds, industrial fertilizers and factory runoff. Mulch smell, cracked tattooed and irregularly overworked skins. Rain’s about to fall all over new heat spinning a soothing web around itself, negative crystal ball of global media networks crunching numbers spelling W A R.

River keeps moving, as it will until it won’t. Body lies down, able to leave ward for day and walk without supervision. Still two legs, two arms, two working lungs and two alright eyes. Pimpled mouth, ejaculating organ and hairy ass. There is disinfecting secular peace in an institu-tional uniform. A body is something I have not a thing that I am, thinks body, stretched now across an opiate neuronal temporality. A gaggle of women exercise with their baby-carriages. From the womb to the tomb. A children’s game of tag criss-crosses above the slumberer’s lair. Seagulls gather on river islands like blemishes both in celebration and warning.


Two knives gleam in the sunset. Thunder clouds storm the sky’s palace. Shadows stumble. Pre-sent is a small firefly hatched too early due to unseasonal weather. Crippled and mid-embryonic, by end of the fight, it will have tried to find new shelter in fighters’ mouths, to have set up shop, to have built a home, warming tongues of two who have forgotten to know how. Yesterday’s equinox barbecue reeks between bare human toes as moon reflects all earthly sound and nightin-gale croons. Sublunar unwaged lifetimes. Knives drop. One injects other’s mouth. The firefly sighs while love vows are exchanged. Pearls drop back out just as quick, nesting in mud with blank stares. Black birds flitter around the fighters. They are the kind that wear bright red caps to signal sex.


Silence is the most extreme form of language—says maturing firefly, guardian of their mouths. Wake up now. Body, disarmed and bugged. Reduced to pride in hell, scars on show act more like maps.