I am a beached whale,
a lonesome dove without wings,
a caged hamster who’s gnawed away
its paw.

I haven’t done anything for which
I can be blamed. I’m like an anorexic
who’s trying to disappear. Fifty
more pounds and I won’t be able to stand.

I’d do anything to avoid responsibility.
I’d even give up sex. Better to be
repellent than to risk rejection.
Better to withdraw than be ignored.

Get out before someone pulls the alarm,
like a hoodlum fleeing through
the kitchen to avoid arrest.
I’ll have to learn to pee sitting down.

Better to starve than to be fulfilled.
When you get too small to be loved,
you can call yourself a worm. You’ll be
like a frog, too weak to croak.

A million years on, you’ll develop
the ability to spit blood. Your glistening
flesh will be toxic. You will be left alone at last.
You will finally have the rock all to yourself.


Image Credit:Nick Lanciotti
David Lohrey grew up in Memphis, studied at the University of California at Berkeley, and now teaches in Tokyo. His plays have appeared in the UK, Switzerland, India, and, most recently, in Croatia. Recent poetry has appeared in Softblow, The Blue Mountain Review, Otoliths, Cecile’s Writers, and Quarterday.

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