Enter Home Planet News Poetry of Issue #4                         Page 54
Page 54


The Devil’s Playbook

Lying on the couch
& watching the game, my bare
feet dangling over
the arm, I must have looked like
a hot dog too big for its
bun to Jake, who felt
a bit peckish, I’d
suppose, seeing how he nearly
bit my foot off. Damn it all
to hell,
I yelled, bitch slapping
his long, scaly snout
with the butt of my rifle.
I’d hoped to wait
for halftime, the Jingoists
& the Racist Epithets
tied at nothing each,
but I’d never last that long.
Crocs get cranky when
hungry, so tearing my shirt
to use as a tourniquet,
I hobbled into
the kitchen to make lunch, Jake
nipping at my heels.
Well, heel. Opening the fridge,
I grabbed one of the bundles
I bought this morning,
unrolled the blood-soaked paper,
& held up, just out
of Jake’s reach, a brown war
baby which the butcher had
cut to retain its
humanity: slits for eyes,
a gash for a mouth,
& delicately carved lines meant
to represent baby hair.
Such fine attention
to detail received nada
appreciation,
for crocs, despite possessing
extraordinary vision
as predators, lack
an eye for art, but as soon
as it left my hand,
Jake engulfed it & scurried
away to his hidey-hole,
wagging his tail so
violently, he took my good
leg out on me &
boom! Down I went, hitting
the floor like a nuclear
bunker buster. I
couldn’t get up & feeling
vulnerable without
my gun, I dialed 911.
The EMTs called me nuts
when I let it slip
that I fed my pet croc war
babies. It’s not too
bad, I tried to explain, if
you’re willing to shop around.
But I doubt they heard
over the siren as we
sped to the hospital
across town, where I serve
on the board of directors.

                     Matt Morris