A Prose Poem
    Johannes Goransson
Dear Ra,

Happy birthday! This is your conscience speaking. Just kidding (If this is your conscience somebody has dumped strychnine in it). Ever since I invented my gun, nobody has asked me how I'm doing. You don't even want to know why I keep leaky dolls in my bed. All you have to do is ask and I'll tell you where I found the mask I've been taping to my face and why I pretend it's a heartache. Most customers think I'm honest because I don't talk. Most strippers think I won't leave my chair because I'm scared of walking home through the woods. The villagers are still hunting me out there. They've hated me since I told them the shards in their children's sandlot were too glamorous to be picked up. They suspect you've blinded me. They think I'm blind like love, but I'm actually blind as a highway.

Happy Halloween! You know when you've stumbled into a tourist trap, but you don't know where I hid the key. Or maybe you do, but you don't want to put your hand there?

How many hooves, how many craniums does it take to find a nurse in this rodeo? How many stitches are there in an abdication? Are you the girl carrying something sterile to my masquerade? Is it a bleeding rave? A ravished coup? Are those your real eyelashes? Where did you dig up that wonderfully empty piece of paranoia? Those chewed nails? Are you disguised as the Goddess of Nostalgia or a twisted incarnation of hide-and-seek? You costumes didn't used to be so perverted. I always belonged to another congregation, even while you were putting my dick in your mute little mouth, but I'm considering converting to your hysteria. Carpets have made bare feet obsolete. Condoms have made children obscene. The mixed tape you made for me sounds like cardboard. If you can make loneliness seem like sanity, imagine what you could do for my crimes. If you want a plastic bag to put over your head, may I suggest the one from the pet store. Even the possum with its sharp nails and teeth couldn't tear a hole in it.

Johannes Goransson grew up in Sweden and currently lives in Athens, GA. He has an MFA from the University of Iowa and his poems and translations have been published in such journals as Conduit, jubilat, American Letters and Commentary,Double Room.


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