January 2003 / Volume Four / Issue One
NOTE: This poem is divided into 2 parts. Click ">" at the bottom of the page to access the next.
David Bates
Hamburger Surprises

I’d left the television going as I prepared dinner
                broiled hamburger steaks w/cheese
                in the center and Betty Crocker 3cheese
                potatoes

I heard it from the kitchen a massive
                     POP
and the lights dimmed w/a buggy sort of buzz
as a white flash reflected
against the far wall of the next room

the television screen had exploded out and
at the center of the floor lay an infant child
its soft brain bursted through the fontanelle
           settling into the carpet

           genderless but for the
           pink footed jammies–
                                more like a
           household pet that had been
           shaved and dressed grotesquely human
           for some humorous Hallmark card

live here at the scene
it’s become apparent
that an improperly secured child
has be ejected from the
2nd vehicle–
rescue workers are
searching the area but admit
that the possibility
of survival
is unlikely


            the thing on the floor
            gave off a slight
                           suckling noise
            but didn’t move

I switched the TV off w/the remote
half expecting everything to return to normal
but the silence
only seemed to amplify the smell
of every thing cooking
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