October 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Five
John Thomas Menesini
Another One From When I Was 8

we knew him to see him
never by name

women’s glasses
too big for his face
blue knit cap
bad teeth
oily black cactus needle hairs poked through his rubbery cheeks

trash bags full of the free romance novels
they set out at the library

he was always there
filling up on the worst of the forgotten

he smelled that same smell
we’re all familiar with

he’d spend time with the born-again’s who had the trailer next to ours
the husband and wife
so tragic
so perfect
the living reason behind the harsh stereotypes

she was easily 300 pounds
and never out of the baby-blue moo-moo
that had yellow shit stains on the ass
ever so faint

he was 135 pounds wet
greasy thick hair
with the serial killer part

he’d beat the shit out of her regularly
you could hear it though the whole park
her wailing
the sound of her whale body
hurled into the aluminum walls

and we
like everyone else
never did a thing
except listen

I always wondered what they talked about

they said this guy didn’t have a home
he slept outside
or in the grey shack
at the foot of the small patch of trees
that we kids naively called ‘woods’
on the other side of town

and if you went near there
and he caught you
he’d hook your balls up to a car battery
or hold you at knife point
while he flicked at your inchlong pecker

he walked the old trestle back and forth
to get from wherever it was he actually stayed
to the library
and the long stretch to the trailer homes

and it was this trestle
that he fell from
40 feet down
and wasn’t found until summer
because the heat
had helped the sweet sick cabbage smell of human rot to blossom
and by then
the way he was found
was without a head

it seemed
because the break
so severe
the head was only held on by skin
and must have been carried off by the animals
those scavengers
who had quite a remarkable feast
after all those long cold months of winter nothing