This morning, a hearse refused to
let me in—no room in his damned lane,
or perhaps, his fare held a higher obligation—
a pressing engagement, no doubt.
God knows, the dead can be stiff tippers.
As the driver hauled (cold) ass past,
metallic spikes spun from the center
bore of each twenty-inch rim—a lofty
investment, surely the remnants of a medieval
flail or a morning star now sparing
death from life—either way,
a hell of a lot cheaper than a personalized
license plate: X F K W/ M E.
I braked paused
and perused the hues in the rearview,
postponing the moment to merge with those
who careen toward their exits—left and right,
lowered and raised—on course for their havens
some otherwhere, any otherwhere.
Have you ever watched a one-armed woman peel a banana?
Let me tell you:
the scene plays as a practice in patience.
It can’t be too ripe; one hand has less touch (than two).
She pinches the stem
between her thumb and her
index finger, squeezing the fibers
with a dire need for potassium that splits
the thick yellowy lime green peel
harder deeper longer
until juice drips from the widening slit.
And then, flesh. BANANA FLESH!
First, just the tip
of her finger feels the gooey insides,
but then her knuckle drags along the
fruit, ripping open a seam of chewy
Its meat is in her palm now,
partially mashed, but ready to be taken
between her lips—
the bruised (and used) peel
abandoned on the floor.
She lifts her hand to
her mouth and dives in
(with her tongue), licking
then biting lumps of amber until
her hand is fruitless, and her mouth (and
lips and chin) resemble Van Gogh’s self-
I wonder if (and how) she washed her hand…
When she holds the door for you,
you should realize she’s giving you
(always giving everything)
all she has.
Is anything more absurd than this?
that you require two
to do the same.