Friday, April 25, 2014

Kayla
1.
Kayla has a yard sale
sells her Minnie Mouse ears 
and matching gloves
then snap…!
vivid memory of herself as a suburban Mouseketeer
naïve, sweet, innocent…
Regretting the loss, she runs down the street
breathing hard
Her hair flies out behind her, snarled red
She hopes to spy the buyer—maybe at another sale…
Kayla’s neighborhood is not so good
When she returns home, all her other possessions are gone,
things she wanted to sell 
and things she had decided to keep after all
Even the tables are gone

2. 
Kayla wakes to Olivia Newton-John 
working out on the Total Gym
$14.95/ 30 day trial
Kayla remembers when she herself 
wore a tight black leather mini-skirt
and looked so good
Kayla switches channels
watches a documentary on the Holocaust
goes into the bathroom and gazes at the reflection 
of her thin, weak arms
Kayla’s not so sure the Holocaust ever happened

3.
Kayla squirts sunscreen on her tooth brush
realizes her mistake
laughs to herself
a light moment
one few and far between 

4.
Kayla’s cat wears a chronically peeved expression
and wonders if it’s too late to become feral
already his fate 
in two of nine alternative universes

Shards 

The glass shards embedded in my side
usually work their way out slowly
but sometimes emerge quickly
as if my body is spitting them out 
Once a Vietnamese woman woke up bleeding
My projectiles 
had pierced her as she slept 
She screamed
knew a bad omen when she saw one
a lover whose body was an unconscious weapon 
I had to run
her father was the police chief
I never had the time to explain
I crossed the border into Cambodia

For a Few Moments Ed Stops Fretting About His Failing Corn

Entire villages perish in an earthquake
crazed gunmen kill 
 moviegoers
and the righteous at prayer
Bankers steal billions
children go hungry 
The only thing that rivets Ed’s attention is a report
on Lady Gaga’s heat-seeking bra
He wonders: how does that work?
What’s the technology behind that?
Sex is so distant in his past  
he lacks the muscle memory
to begin to understand 
Ed has had breasts in his hands
certainly
but not a celebrity’s 
not even somebody locally famous  
Shit, he says, rousing himself
He gets out of the chair 
for the sake of getting out of the chair
Lady Gaga’s heat-seeking bra--
 the thought won’t leave him
He’s obsessed, transfixed
but his mind can’t find any traction
He stares out the window of his farmhouse 
at the drought-parched corn

Three Years of Sex

Cheryl rusts from the inside
Her organs are pig iron 
the connectors
(intestinal, esophageal, eustachian)
are lead,
green corruption at their joints
She was made strong by Russian ancestors
but not made to last
She’s rusting on the inside and 
her female organs are doing something down there
she doesn’t know what
She’s only seventeen but already menopausal
Three years of sex was all she’d had before
this odd disaster befell her
erasing her maternal fantasies 
But boys still crawl in her bedroom window
the sex as mechanical as heavy-metal drumming
but satisfying all the same 

My Ad for Match.com 

I do not have blockages in my sinuses
I have Dustbowl allergies
allergies my parents brought from Oklahoma
in the thirties
I don’t sleep
I’m unpleasant
I just want you to know the truth

M. Krockmalnik Grabois