Saturday, March 2, 2019

Vanishing Hand

I had all the tattoos of the names of all my wives removed.
Don't know why I waited so long, should have been
erasing them along the way instead of all at once.
You said you didn't care, barely noticed them
even though they covered most of my body.

Your hand disappeared every time I reached for it

I dreamed of Summer, of garden hoses snaking through the glass,
of seagulls reflected in your sunglasses.

We drove to the plant nursery but it was closed
since a huge hairy spider plant had just taken off
one of the workers' hands at the wrist.
Blood was everywhere, and all the roots of the plants
were straining thirstily inside their pots.

We went to the fish store where all the tanks were filled
with nothing but piranhas. You asked if they had
anything else and the bandaged salesman
led you to a secret room in the back
and lifted the cover on a tank
and inside were more piranhas.

We went to the shop where they sell animal heads
and fossilized eggs and jewelry made from insects
in globs of amber. A couple of glowing newlyweds came out
carrying a mounted cat skeleton between them
with a mouse skeleton in its jaws

I felt heavy and weary, suspended like a sack
of wet laundry between my crutches.
A length of rubber clutched between my teeth,
silky ropes slithering between my legs.

On the way back home we bought roasted peanuts
that burned through the bottom of the sack

Getting ready for bed my skin slipped off
and underneath was just a writhing mass
of atoms. You reached out and they swarmed
all over you and you just laughed, even as they
nibbled all the flesh from your fingertips.

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