Little Surgical Devices (warning: graphic content)

“Good night, puppy.”

“Mommy? I have a question.”

“What is it?”

“Did they really hang dogs during the witch trials in Salem?”

“Where did you hear that?”

“Daddy was practicing his ghost tour on me.”

“Mmm. I think maybe you should ask your father about that.”

“But I can’t stop thinking about it.”

“Well,” I lie, “I don’t know if that’s true

but the important thing to remember

is it will never happen to you.”

“Will it happen to my friends?”

 

I think about the dog hanging

on a gate in that ghetto of New York City

whose body remained for days

right next a playground

as some sort of gang warning

 

and the puppy running

around a spit in Thailand

which appeared to have

his mother roasting on it

begging and then being fed

bits of her meat. Then, in Korea

the soup with little surgical devices

hiding in the meat, the broth

 

I say, “No, of course not.

Who would ever want to hurt a dog?

Now, stop being silly and get some sleep.”

Then I lie awake, remembering

 

Accompaniment

My boyfriend says “Don’t watch scary movies.”

My therapist says “Avoid anything that might be triggering, including but not limited to scary movies.”

My friends say “What kind of popcorn are we talking about here?” before they agree to watch a triple X/R Rated/Snuff film with me

My boyfriend calls me “Hey where are you?”

I answer “I’m under the bed.”

My boyfriend “Why, what happened?”

Me “I don’t know, I kinda thought a scary movie

would make me feel less anxious, but it didn’t.

In fact, it did the opposite of that.”

My boyfriend “All right, well, I gotta go. I’ll see you Monday though, ok?”

Me “Oh yeah. Yup. I am totally cool with that.”

My boyfriend hangs up.

Me “Yup. Really cool. 100%”

My Dog “Where’s my walk?”

Me “Just go in the bathtub. I’ll clean it up.”

My dog “No! That’s gross. I want to go outside.”

Me “Ugh. Ok, hold on.”

I get his leash, my suit of armor, and a gun.

Drain Plug

There are sea monsters and spiky urchins

lurking just beneath the glass

when i look in the mirror

and you’re not standing behind me

im not impressed

and i am afraid of so many

more things than that

 

the water runs black with purple lipstick

thickly smudged eyeliner, fish

and several false bullet holes to the neck

my stockings are ripped and lying

just outside my bubble bath

 

the candles are lit

but the fluorescent lights

shine on and beat me bloody

it’s not just beneath the glass

that I’m afraid of

the monsters pulsate red

and swirl down in circles

without the drain plug in to stop it

 

and you have my drain plug

either on a keychain or in your wallet

so please come home and stop

these sea monsters from reproducing

I wouldn’t ask, but there are so many now

i almost feel like drowning with them

Go try Marvel

Whenever I think

that maybe I was wrong

in killing off over half my characters

I remember that one, slithering

horrific sentence

Sometimes, I’m really glad

you said it

 

Other times, I wish

I could clean my ears

and your mouth out

with bleach

 

Either way

here’s the consequence

you are now identified

as a villain

and this is not

that kind of novel

you do not deserve a spot

opposite my protagonist

go try Marvel

Hamster Ball

I loved you better

before the hospital

when I still thought

you were invincible

 

running up

hills, mountains

swimming into the bottom

of the pond, the ocean

pavement pounded

beneath your gaily feet

towards other dogs and people

until one of them

attacked you

 

today, our fun

is a little different

I put you in

a hamster ball

and roll you down

the street

then quickly, quickly

back towards me

 

 

I saw something

What is a gun when it’s not loaded?

A toy, scrap metal, a poem, an empty threat

or worse, a promise

His face was full of ammunition

years before we met

The same way the dancing spider

who waltzed beneath my desk

on a strobe lit web reminded me

that i wanted to go to France

 

it’s not only the biscuit reeking of butter

loaded with the Eiffel tower

or century old buildings constructed by

the more dangerous of the sexes

It’s thirty years of connotations

and my losing track of them

I hope I was right when I told him

to to leave and then

withheld communication

when i bought the ticket

to Paris

 

I didnt want a spider’s web

beneath my desk

a vague, unsettled feeling

the ever present veiled threat

What if instead it was all just

over buttered biscuits?

I thought I could live like that