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Nathan Parker

LAMP OF THE BODY THEORY

 

1

 

Once upon a time the wind moved my family

to a dark plot in Fridley run by 1 trillion

pigs. Dad took seminary classes

 

in the evening & babysat me & my little

brother during the day. Dean the itinerant

corn farmer wore his ball cap so low

 

you couldn’t see his eyes, the Real Reason is

a secret. He didn’t have any. The pigs

got them. Here’s how.

 

2

 

Bored of plain old corn, the pigs blamed

Dean. Dean, drunk, cast his

humanblue eyes to them.

 

It’s about Time, implied the hollow-eyed

messes, & formed a single-file

line. A trillion-eyed

 

Pig Queen rose out of the mud to stuff

her subjects with blue,

oncetrue light.

 

(She gave each pig about 15 seconds

to dance in the dark by itself

before pulling the plug.)

 

Today if you put a stone to your ear you

can hear the neverending report

of that lonely party.

 

 

 

LETTER HOME

 

 

Dear moon, today I was free to choose

a car, any car, off silver hooks

in an airtight warehouse.

 

The sea breeze promised to be 10 times

bluer when sniffed from

my yellow hot rod,

 

but this hot rod’s axles were fastened to

a rope that dragged me & a bunch

of other kids into the trailer

 

of a diesel truck whose PreDestination

was a slowly ascending roller

coaster track to which

 

a teen beast strapped our naked bodies

after disfiguring our faces

with an old

 

razorblade. As my guardian angel (an

Asian orphan) flew me away

she whispered what is

 

forgotten on the other side of the roller

coaster hill, then dropped me

through the roof

 

of a termite-chewed shed whose walls

were decorated with masks

of a man

 

I thought I knew. Over the thunder of

the soulhunters’ boots

she whispered

 

one last thing to me, & doing it is the reason I was born.

 

 

MEN AT THIRTY

 

 

Once upon a time my dad let go

of my bike seat & I bit the dust.

I tried so hard to be a man

 

about it. My dad, good man

that he is, pretended to scratch

dirt off his Rockports while

 

I cried under a tree. Nothin like

a Rockport, son, he used to say.

Dad’s were always spit black.

 

He doesn’t know about my cool

red ones yet & I find my soul’s

deep need for him to see them

 

remains.



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