Part of me still believes
it’s possible to breathe
fire. Miles Davis can’t be the only one.
I’ve positioned myself close
to where the membrane’s thinnest
not just for the rip
but also the merriment
like when through the flimsy
exam-room wall I can hear someone else
getting the bad news, hear the shrinkage
of their voices and the mice coming out.
I’d gotten some confusing test results,
turns out my blood’s not blood at all,
too green, too miasmic and lupine
so my cover’s blown
like during the psychological experiment
when you’re given more chocolate kisses
for upping the voltage into your monkey
but I said I’d rather have the shocks myself
and my monkey sure looked like he could use a sweet.
That was before coming here,
before the surgeries and Tomaz
mutilating the pizza with a fork
then things got really weird
in the cowboy movie that wasn’t
a cowboy movie at all. It was
one of those lost spaceman flicks
where his crippled ship crashes
on some inhospitable styrofoam rock
but through ingenuity and dumb luck
he survives on a strange root
that cries aloud each time it’s cut
not that anyone needs to be reminded.
Dean Young's new book of poems, Shock by Shock, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2015.