What a Good Place Now

by Alex Lemon

issue 75

Anymore, there is no need
To push it, to become a shadow
Beneath the hurtling
Sky. The mister in me

Has undergone a long
Treatment of quieting—I am so
Gentle now, groomed to offend
No mink-vest sensibility.

I am nothing if not a good little
Learner: the best skin stretches
Taught over soccer & volleyballs,
Table tennis racquets. There are so

Many faces, so much flesh
Sloughing off. Hold on—
Is this mask messing with
My clarity? Let me clear it up,

Let me clear out these rotten
Teeth, then attack the day
With bulldog bites. The floorboards
Say that tonight I am to become

More than anyone—
Not grandma or guidance
Counselor—ever imagined.
Catquick, leechpit. My singlet

Is sewn out of motivational
Posters, midnight & chewed
Bubble gum. Look, here is
The bottom line: your slick

Hands deep inside something
That seconds ago, certain as
Satan, whispered your Super
Secret Pony Name. Forgive me—

I know what I know but it comes
To me like an orgy of sloths.
Words sling at me like barroom
Darts & the jibber jabber

That the day spills over with
Makes understanding the about-
To-burst heart of the hummingbird
Impossible. The fly buzzing I hear

Beneath my ribs translates to some-
Thing like buzz, buzz, buzz. All this
Life: the moonglow has delivered
To me ragged & crusty choirs

Of mumbling that has rendered
Me sweatgleaming, a worthless
Hugger. All the while the plum
Tree in the backyard calls out

To me, offering my shiny limbs
The only thing I have ever wanted—
A bitchin’ live burial. It is said
That in one life or another it will

All come around but I have to tell
You—right now feels so good
It is probable that I am living
Inside the ulcered guts of some

Godlike scavenging rodent. So what
If the light is worm-chewed, rank—none
Of us is just perfect or so so lovely.
I see a swampy immaculateness

When I shut my eyes, know deep
In my overheating coils that
The good times are right now, last
Week & one of these years.

When the animal I live in
Scampers through the night
My molars trill. Maggots pulse
The pulpy walls that clutch me.