Poems July 2021

Hiroshima Penumbra

My shadow is walking untethered through my house
I’m hiding in a quiet room in the dark

We divorced sometime early in middle school — those things kids know how to say, off-the-cuff, but targeted with smart-bomb accuracy

After Hiroshima, they found the last shadows ever cast
On walls, stairs, sidewalks

My shadow is now shopping
I’m still atomized, although I’m tagging along these days
My hat pulled down low
My beard a white shadow slowly taking over my face

July 17, 2021

Better Living Through Root Canal

Tired of lopsided eating,
which caused me to poop lefty,
I found myself in a chair
As He probed my face.

He massaged my feet and x-rayed my unmentionables.

He studied me, with those sensitive eyes, and announced:

“You have much wrong with you.
And your diet isn’t helping.
And the drinking! Phfssst!”
(He gestured, his hand a flapping bird startled off the porch)

“You are poisoned by many tiny things.
I’ll remove what I can,
but it’s a plethora, I tell you.”

The lights changed and He put on special goggles.

He drilled, politely.
My tongue cowered, henpecked and unemployed.

Then, with a thin instrument inserted,
He pulled out a little red guy — like a bit of chorizo caught between the chompers.

“This. Has. Been. The. Problem.”
(Each word was accompanied by a hand motion, as if hitting me lightly, and with no small affection)

He lit the red thing — the little red guy — on fire with a bunsen burner flame.
It squeeked “Yeep” and vanished.

“I have removed it!”
He warned: “Don’t you put it back!”

Oh! Alas!
I am a dumb ass!
I’ll try. I will try.

But we creatures of bad habits
Nose pickers
Singed and flowering with recriminations

We always put things back.

July 7, 2021