from EXHIBIT OF FORKING PATHS
In tablet 12 is a girl in ski boots
wading a lushly gurgling stream.
I am defeated.
In tablet 4, an ex-torture chaber attendant
shucks the shells of shrimps
and crawfish. He is opening
a bar, “The Shuck.” A nosy insect
screams in a tree behind him.
Table 222: Mr. R., digging
a small pit for a vial of barbituates.
The hair on his back is long and fuzzy.
The end of love. A tall sundial.
A genie strangled and left on the curb
like a derelict’s rag.
I am torn. Wasted.
A pummeled plate. A dent.
Table 16 hangs from an ambiguous
ceiling fixture. The coronary form
or a used tea bag smelling of olive juice.
An ear, perhaps a dog’s,
folded over a medium-sized clamshell.
A used bandage also.