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Drácula Con Queso

Written By David Arroyo

David Arroyo is a nerd and ex-Catholic. His Dungeons & Dragons alignment is Neutral Good. He holds an MA in English from Florida State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. He’s published poetry in Coffin Bell, Nocturne, Stirring, Silver Blade, and The Chamber.

             When there's no hope, there's Taco Bell, Big Beef indigestion, and pairs of Cool Ranch lips spread across the kitchen table. Brown paper after-party living más all over the wood surface. The time? It's dark—that's all that matters. The movie? Drácula (1931) dips my feast and face in gray smoke. If I starve for sleep, I will not starve for food, but this is a contest of wills and wits; I don't remember turning the tv on. I don't remember ordering food on UberEats. I don't remember my name, but I know Drácula filmed at night when the cast of Dracula (1931) was done for the day, replaced by their better-than-the-original-doppelgangers. I crunch a pair of lips. Corn shell shard scrapes my throat. I swallow a heresy: Taco Bell is better than "authentic" Tex-Mex.

            What if Taco Bell is the food of doppelgangers? I slip into sleep paralysis before I can answer the question. On the screen, chaos on a cargo ship:

Renfield grins through a
bull's eye, recites my secrets
the subtitles strangle:

David Arroyo stands
behind you, el quiere. Tex-Mex 
meet your Taco Bell.