Pandemonium in the Pandemic
I woke up speaking Portuguese, wearing
red-hot pajama bottoms with black-and-white
penguins. My bottom lip was puffed up like
I had a Botox injection and I was
bleeding between my toes on my left foot.
The reflection in the mirror showed a palm
tree, a little gray squirrel monkey scurrying
to the top, a miniature machete in his right
paw. There were crows lined up on the
telephone wire across the street where
Mettler Construction raped the beautiful
ridge where my heart used to lie. And my
big dog has another tumor.
You spoke to me in a dream to tell me
that the house was on fire. Get out! You
exclaimed, run for your life. But I couldn’t.
The blood from my toes was filling
up the house, and I needed to swim but didn’t
know how. The toaster was glowing reddish-
orange and three flamingos started pecking
There were unexplained abrasions and contusions,
scissors stuck in the fat at the back of my head,
and my car was a John Deere combine, too large
to drive out of the back yard. The dogs had wings
and the cat three black tongues. There was a tornado
heading my way and no place to go, no place to go,
no place to go….
I stopped and prayed: Jesus save me. That’s all I knew
to do. And I woke up inside the vault of a bank,
surrounded by cops who had mouths like pregnant
carp. My stomach harbored a knife wound and there
was a knot the size of a golf ball on the side of my face.
My house was gone except for the foundation, which
looked like a flattened trampoline. I can’t recall having
learned a lesson here so I checked into a local hotel
and took a much-needed nap.
So often you look at me and say hello
as we pass each other, entering or leaving
our building like two strangers who easily
friends. But we don’t. Instead I carry your
sweet smile in my head, take you to Barcelona
where we eat tapas and stay out until the salmon
sun slides up from the horizon where water meets
sky. Too complicated to remove the plastic
sheet, not sanitary or prudent perhaps to peel
our skins. We’re just neighbors, right?
We’re on Hiatus, or Abaude with Leaky Roof and Old Yeast
Please don’t ask me questions right now
or knock on the door. We’re staying inside
and not receiving guests. We’re making morning
bread with old yeast that might be too sluggish
Our roof leaks in this bad weather, and the big
dog has new tumors. Food has no taste.
I wake up in the morning wanting to climb
into my own body and never get up.
I cry at the drop of a hat.
We’re wiping down the kitchen counters
and table with homemade wipes, praying
that light will ooze into the windows while
we’re asleep and the whole thing will have
been nothing more than a seriously bad dream.
My teeth need cleaning but I don’t
Why I Quit Sunday School: Virtual Handshake with Peter, Breath like a Camel
An argument ensued about whether Jesus
had an odor, and I asked,
“Was He a man?”
And they said yes, of course. And he was
perfect in every way.
But hygiene must have been an issue because
of the heat, and most humans sweat. Did He
bathe everyday? I’ll give you a few minutes
to prove one way or another whether He smelled
like everyone else.
I know you can find some Scripture in
your Bible. You always pull out Scripture
to prove your point, just as attorneys
often do, skewing the data in their favor,
expecting the world to accept their fluff.
So I ask you, Peter, did Jesus have bad breath?
Did he have dandruff and a mild case of eczema?
I say He did, Peter; had a breath like a camel
and toe jam between each and every toe.
But no one will ever know, so why do we spend
valuable time attempting to prove something
that never mattered in the first place? Can I get
an amen? How about a handshake, Peter? It’s
about all we had left.