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A CHILD'S FLIGHT OF FANCY
Some mysterious cigar box calamity created this half formed creature,
but that caterpillar yet emerged as something close to a butterfly
even when the magic metamorphic moment was long delayed and forever gone,
and yet without a mandible it still cut away from its chrysalis's confining threads
and with its uncoiled tubular mouth it tried sucking up the long dried nectar
from a shriveled and fallen flower l had dropped into the box,
yet it emerged but with hopelessly crippled wings
that could only promise flight——
but I imagined it as a fully formed migrating monarch
with splayed wide red-black wings soaring its way
south to Mexico to live a freer life far longer
than as a silk shrouded prisoner in my father's cigar box.
©Bob Heman: The End of the Building
FORTY-EIGHT DIVIDES INTO SIX EIGHT-YEAR-OLDS
When I was eight I always wanted to be the bad guy,
for I looked good in a black hat and fierce when spitting on the sidewalk.
I'd bushwhack the Lone Ranger a dozen times a day
and lead Tonto on a scalp-taking warpath.
I'd rescue my partner, Jesse James from the posse,
and stare down Billy the Kid over who is big enough for this town.
And when I'd look up to the sky, I'd become Emperor Ming the merciless
and blast Flash Gordon out of the universe.
Now six times that age I still have dark imaginings.
I wait at the corner of Ocean Avenue at 3 a.m.,
paralyzed before a red light, paralyzed before a lifetime of red lights.
Four a.m. on an empty street,
except for my car which points towards some impish OZ.
My foot hovers then taps the pedal and my car revs and roars
so I can sally forth on my black horse wearing my bad-guy Stetson
or pilot merciless Ming's death rocket to wreak havoc on the cosmos.
If only the light would turn green already.
ANTI- LETTUCE POLEMIC
Beware subversive left-over lettuce,
grand roughage of the alimentary tract
gaseous producer of badly timed farts,
that create an up-your-nose embarrassment.
as the other end sputters in a very low base
The green stuff on the plate seems to be always just there
after the burger and fries are ravenously gobbled up.
With that dead forest still on the dish
the waiter might not hustle the leafy floppiness away
to try to tempt you with sweet diabetic disasters.
That officious food monger might just leave you in peace
with that uneaten belly bloating rabbit food
filling both plate and stomach with nothing
that a real man or woman would want to eat.
But the archetypal wilted salad still loiters on the plate.
as the impatient waiter eyes your table
while calculating his next probable tip.
Hot dogs are as of yet free of those British bangers,
for what red blooded American would devour
sausages on a bed of green soggy stuff?
Besides, onions have already staked their sharp Frankfurter claim
amid mustard and oblong buns.
The more lettuce stuffed in your mouth
the less all American processed meat devoured
as those appetite saboteurs bulge our bellies
and so McDonald's might go broke
as Big Mac burgers roll downhill to bankruptcy
That's right, lettuce is unAmerican.
It will turn our economy into a soggy indigestible mush.
So do your patriotic duty and take out your plastic knives
and scrape your plate clean of those subversive 'leafings.'
And while singing Yankee Doodle root out these vegan traitors by the roots
and save your patriotic hungers for red meat, gravy, and potatoes,