December 1998 / Volume One / Issue Three
David Gerstle
a slow and careful inspection of the stump

he hears the mandible hinges squeak
       he sees through the rain
       the trees fold back when he breaks wind
his skirt balloons up over street grates

he make love to the animals
       and steals other men's wallets
       only to have them thank him later
       (he pinches their nipples and they squeal
                                       bloody murder)

but i got the nothing
        i got the back end of the horse
        i got the soggy mail bag
        and i got the hurt

i got a pocket full of strangers' palms
                    and he got the blue sky
i got a mouth full of grass and paper
                    and he makes the moon
                                   move the sea

he cuts the orange into eight         equal
      sections          but i slice off my arms
                                         into the toilet

he wears a cloud as a crown and the
       hills are his pants and ice
           is his memory
       and the vapor his wife

i got no one to call my own
       i turn full-circle and touch my privates

   he pisses his name in the snow
in gold embossed olde english font
       while i fumble with a sputtering faucet

he built his own coffin out of palm trees
       and soda crackers and i gotta carry it
       but mice like me can only sit in dark corners

he runs for public office while i sniff
       my underarms

he is crucified and reborn while i
        masturbate to the home shopping network

he is made of ingredients i can no longer
       pronounce      these rusty jawbones like
       the heat of a dying animal

he is carved from a smarter stone

that's him out on the lawn         through the rain
                     on the lawn        skin gray
                                             from the elements
                                              the blood tickling
                                              his eyes
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