Monthly Archives: March 2011

Catch-539

He liked to imagine that his skin
was made of glass and never to be touched.
He left his subterranean apartment
only for cigarettes and microwavable meals.
He read and re-read a dogeared copy of Catch-22
until all of the pages fell out,
and from those yellowed pages he glued together
a magnificent and confusing mural
on the bathroom wall across from the toilet.
Every time he had a difficult bowel movement
he clutched his knees and screamed “Yossarian!”

He took showers with Windex and published papers
in academic journals about the absurd state
of his precious internal organs:

His liver was composed of cotton candy
his heart, coffee grounds
his lungs, a folded up Twister board
his stomach, a kerosene space heater
his bladder, an expired debit card
his spleen, a roll of faux-wood contact paper
his colon, a blue length of PVC pipe
his brain, a hopping set of wind-up teeth
his eyes, cherry jelly beans

Encased in glass he took inventory
and pushed away his terrible anxiety.

His last vacation was spent climbing the hunchbacked cherry tree
couched up against his apartment building.
He fell and shattered into 539 pieces
like a postmodern pinata.
The neighborhood dogs sniffed
until they discovered the jelly beans,
which they inevitably licked and passed up.

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Filed under poetry, published work