Like A High Badger
By Billy Coté

When I was in the far hills I came across a badger.
We ran for hours.
That badger became my wife.

She moved to the city to be with me.
I loved her more than you know.
I would have liked for you to meet her,
but she was high on drugs.
You see,
badgers don't take well to city life.
They tend to stay high as shit. Who knew?

My firm has a branch in Badger, New Jersey.
We thought this would help,
but were mis-lead by the name.
There are no badgers.
What's worse, you have to drive everywhere.
Badgers can't fuckin' drive—not when they're high as shit.

What she needed was a place to run, to be among other badgers,
do badger shit.
Our marriage was a nightmare.
We were in a tight spot.

Then I started in on the pills.
I lost my fucking job.

Now I’ve got no stamina.
Each day passes.
Pleasant. Bland. The thrill is gone.

I am slack.
I don't fucking talk to anyone.
I’m trapped in this house on drugs,
when I should be out running wild in the city;
leaning in,
claws out,
like a badger.

My wife started killing dogs and cats in the neighborhood.
There was blood on the porch.
And fur.
They put her down.
What could I do?

Jesus. I sit and fucking think about my wife...
I see her tearing through fields,
ripping rodents apart with her teeth,
biting the shit out of deer.
I choose to remember her this way,
not as a high badger.

What were we thinking?
I ponder this and I want to rip my own head off.

I would, but I'm high as shit.

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A short story of mine will be published this summer by a journal called Literary Juice. Beyond that I have been a working artist for many years. In the late 90’s and early 00’s I was principal songwriter and guitarist for a band called Madder Rose. We recorded four albums for Atlantic Records (three of which were good.)

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