No Check Today

Behold
the aqua blue head
of Ted Williams, on
a salad bar bed

of dry ice; Hume Cronyn
and Wilford Brimley, all balled up
in an orgiastic cocoon of sauna steam
and Jacuzzi effervescence, rejuvenated
by a horny 2-headed alien
sucking them off
in the froth.

That, or perhaps
reverie, a joke, not half
as bad as what a flayed banana peel
and a condom have in common.
Nothing

like the hope of getting
laid again, at two score
and ten, with that bum ticker
qualifying for Social Security
disability. Not yet,
but merely facing

the mailman,
who delivers
your check, such a paltry
sum of baggy shorts and
cheap shades
in the sun.

Oh, here
she comes
again, with smart
satchel straps, Chanel, safari
hat, and a look on her face says
all’s been the same, all the
same under sun,
as a bored morgue
attendant will always switch
hangnails and toe tags
at midnight

out of spite;
she hands you nothing
but a fat bolus of bills,
catalog circulars,
sweepstakes flyers, at the same
instant a freak Santa Ana updraft
knocks your satellite dish
off it’s hinge

…it clatters
just then, upon
the portico
like a skull and bones
barricade for the Amtrak
crawling through a crossing
at Happy Hour, the young
festive faces waving
in the windows, a whistle
going off like an animal
in pain.

“You have a swell
day now,” the mailman
rasps, turning her back
on you,

as a yawn
rips through
your mask
in sudden lockjaw
spasm, skeleton
grin’s gone a bit
jittery, but won’t
ever give in.

by Dennis Mahagin

Return to Issue 45