by the side of the road
misinterpreting pretty faces.
the stars are aligned
would i measure
many miles of
even if i could
circling a carcass?
my muscles are
scooped from skin
scraped from bone,
this tasty pudding
a mix of many proteins and grasses
seen through binoculars more
sectioned than a fly’s eye.
there are simple solutions for a parched mouth:
a poisoned napkin come quick from the sea;
a six-shooter with fiery chambers full
to bursting in far and away the most
lethal hurricane season this century;
but i still don’t know
how to block the pain pathway
when testes sag in thinning scrotum and
ovaries lose altitude in midflight.
i still don’t know the fear to understand
parables that explain how dreadful is a body
of bone meal the heart well-defined and
edible but, before the first chew, pushing
chairs across a motionless moon for many
to sit tied, starched, coiffured, and painfully
considering these unallied pieces of body
sewn loosely with dissolvable stitch to
unbaste in heat and served up on rotisserie
mumbling water water water and a
cough of last air
albeit rotating smoothly
and well-greased in the pit.
he watches television almost as quiet as his breathing and perhaps just as
shallow. he knows this. which is why he watches so infrequently. and why he
thinks it such a treat when he does. a small fly has been bothering him all
night. not just with that ear-close buzz but the panic of its flying.
patternless. the point of it all eludes him. following the fly has made him dizzy.
his eyes are loosened from their optic nerves. he has lost his moorings.
he wonders if he could pick the beast out of the air and tell it simple things
of weather and diet and midday sleep while holding its veined wings
gently between bloodful pale fingers and occasionally cooing to it knowing
it can only smile back with witless breakable eyes and squirm with
swimming legs. he eats sherbet instead. an orange raspberry pineapple
mix. too cold to taste let alone savor. his taste buds screaming fraud
demand a life of their own. but the tongue is silent. tongue curled in its
speechless possession. the television show has ended after brief commercials
more colorful than the story line, which to say, more crayoned than
the blank page. he wonders what he just watched. the flick of the off
button dulling into his gray-green reflection. he sees himself on television
without benefit of studio. his moves are up to him. a few more spoonfuls
warmed and tasting better. the fly orbits his head like an electron. eyes
rolling back in his head. very wishful. something serene about the way it
happened. the night escaping his presence. a heart in arrest.
forms that perforate routine
left to contemplate
sounds of the same idea
individuality and shapelessness,
crust and marmalade,
knowledge being sun,
thirst is manifested
in water drunk
dawn noon twilight.
tell me how to do it;
paint humanity blind
to better know the pleasure of one.
is needed for distraction.
unpure as forgiveness
that would pardon a small life,
with different pressures. the
in fluid dust,
light in a spontaneous outburst.
for unlinked lives.
Livio Farallo is co-editor of Slipstream and Professor of Biology at Niagara County Community College. His work has appeared or, is forthcoming, in North Dakota Quarterly, J Journal, Rise Up, Triggerfish, Cordite Review, Brief Wilderness, and elsewhere. Livio recommends the Native American Rights Fund.