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Noah Michelson

There, there, weepy cream puff, mon petite sour puss, you took it
as long as you possibly could, the embarrassingly underpaid
chorus line of headdressed toothpicks happily working the ho-hum
weekday happy hour for the chance to spear themselves
through your squishy maraschino middle, fearsome squirt
of yourself seeping through the upholstery, sugary
trickle of too many Shirley Temples tonight, by yourself,
smitten, again.

Poor, poor, scarcely attended peepshow, skittish vitamin K
deficiency, you bore the nest of millipedes, drawer of unemployed
twist ties, boring through your chest, the company of a family
of noncommittal hickeys—here too long, gone too soon—
rash of violets, delicate, downy region of skin just below the ear
sucked into the semblance of a punch line, a levitated woman,
more or less the shape of the continental United States but
no more, any day now, a little less.

Oh, oh, homesick knuckle sandwich, mushy banana abandoning
his peel, it was only a matter of time before you were fingering
every ticklish metal folding chair in the auditorium, licking the lapel
of your navy in-case-of-emergencies-only suit coat, before you began
the minute-long minuet with the high-fangled floor mop, alarmingly
handsome handle or not, before the splinters began to turn up
in the strangest of places—body as pin- the-tail-on-the-donkey, body
as spooky petrified woods.

Here, here, crestfallen bouffant, fair failed oceanaut, though it’s not
entirely your fault, find what you’ve lost, a reason, a shoebox,
fashion a diorama, superglued platoon of macaroni jellyfish
storming the cornmeal beach, epoxied flock of homely silk flamingos
suffocating the magic marker lagoon, hang the plastic helicopter heavy
with tourists by an arm’s length of fishing line directly above
the simmering playdough volcano, pageant of smoke, pushpin dusk,
and when it erupts

affix the hunky rubber pilot’s hand to the top of your melting knee.



Copyright © Noah Michelson

Cimarron Review
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English Department
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