Poem: D.J. Parris

Illo for D.J. Parris's poem.

Perhaps If When I Saw Her

On the lawn chair arms
and knees curled inside

the big pink t that stretched
over her legs what, if you

squinted, made a quadruple
amputee (but bosomy)

of her. Until a new left hand
grew out the old stump

reaching immediately For
her Camel Menthols. Tucks

her singular arm back into
the lump she’d been but

this time her head as well.
Suddenly what were breasts

became a shell. A single flicker.
A sudden glow from the center.

Smoke precedes her head and
one arm and then the other.

Perhaps if when I saw her
she was nothing I might name.

A lamp or lantern, fertility
goddess, or junkie, or my own

best or worst ideas, cleaving
to the comfort of identification.

Nomming her and on her or
at her. However; with teeth

the same. Until she is bones,
shell and that we remember.

Or what we can ever know.
Perhaps her day was the sea.

Perhaps dear reader you are.
Perhaps the eternal upturned

finger of every Atari joystick.
Perhaps you are both player

and game. And no one cares
if you win, but that you buy it.
D.J. Parris has had recent work in American Chordata, Abridged, HOUND, and Noble / Gas Qtrly. He lives in Aldie, VA, with his wife and son.

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