Like a pigeon, the seagull gobbles the Wonder bread, then wanders away.
What a strange duplication, what a weird thing to say.
Then the homeless man whose bread it was
Walks through the tidal pools and drowns his sorrows in mud.
They were a match made in limbo
Or nowhere—heaven shining above, hell steaming below.
Are we being punished for our sins?
Whatever I did I’ll never do it again.
They wear their brains in their belly and their guts in their heads.
And now that their leader is king, it’s the end.
The end of time, the end of peace—
So much for the poor in spirit and the least of these.
But bereavement happens in any case;
Even more than taxes, death can’t be escaped.
“You’re a rough customer” she said,
Implying I should have been married or dead.
I was just waiting for the other shoe to fall,
Walking along, bouncing a green tennis ball.
The pregnant girl in the bake shop couldn’t stop eating the cornbread.
The whole idea gave me a terrible sense of dread.
I was just waiting for the heavy ax to fall,
Wondering what they had against a green tennis ball.
THE OTHER HAND
The triathlon only lasts until we die.
It was a strange story.
The endings we can no longer bear to look into.
The bridge of sighs,
The fountain of tears,
The bottomless pit of sleep.
He vomited forth the butterflies that were plaguing his stomach.
Someone said it was “magical realism.”
It “’becomes’ a catch-22.”
Blues figures on a harmonica.
“Don’t worry, you won’t get addicted.”
Painted figures and written figures.
Strange figures, weird figures.
It all figures.
You figure, we figure, I figure, go figure.
Plaster or porcelain figures,
My father’s grace on the ice,
And so on and so forth.
“I would avoid the plural.”
What good advice.
The world is a difficult place to live.
It partly depends on when.
But don’t let on we depend.
The latter. The former.
Ian Ganassi's poetry, prose and translations have appeared in more than 100 literary journals. Poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in New American Writing, The Yale Review, 2Bridges Review, American Journal of Poetry and Clockwise Cat, among many others. My poetry collection Mean Numbers was published in 2016, and is available on Amazon. His new collection of poems, True for the Moment, will be published in the fall of 2019 by MadHat Press. Selections from an ongoing collage collaboration with a painter can be found at www.thecorpses.com.