Summer 03






Turn me on my tummy, I eat earth. Flip me onto back, I lap
sky. On my sides, ants, earwigs fill my gut. Fold me forward
I chomp the raisins and cherries, my toes. If bent backward
on gate-hinge of lower spine, crown pressing ground, I de-
vour Achilles heel; sugar cone, wafer cone. My teeth rip like
woodsman saw, and grind like pestle. Functioning mouths
comb my every side: buttocks, thighs, elbows, lobes, latisimus
dorsi, tearing, processing, multi-sided, I a mechanistic hive.
Roll me across countryside — everything touched I clip and
push down, peristaltically. The Bible does not eat so heartedly.
Suction cupped octopus, rubber plunging. Mommy devoured
Daddy. Sister gulped King. Cousin slurped Harry. Incisors,
gnashers, plungers, drains. Each envelopes each: witness
the Pekinese shaking the Pekinese in its snout, shitting a Pek-
inese. Shutting down my throats would create a million mot-
ionless demoralized doors, like tuxedoed Bond escaping the
gullet of No's pool injecting no shark. — But not swarming with
doors, slide palms down me as proof — smooth, round, soft,
clean. Just one gastroenterological track: saliva, esophagus,
hydrochloric, gut, intestines two, gooey tissue, and the sup-
port scaffolding of ligament and bone, rainbow hue and tough.
Caramel apples at Universal. Hot dogs at Wrigley. Coifed
sugar on Independence Day. Handfuls of pistachios. Warm
blood. Florets. Milk Duds. At the tip of every hair gapes
an opening, lamprey-esque. Eaten sleeves and soaked pulp-
wood. Atlas paper. Mucilage. Cardboard sheets mashed to
gluten. Lean days by the reflection pool. Devoured: 1322
Boysenberry Lane, Waukegan, IL, 60201. Look — oozing
cuticles! Gone to church for Eucharist, that utilitarian host.
Licked the bug screen, the window screen, the Harley wind-
shield, Cherokee, Porsche, ExpeditionXLT. Jet fuel. My
greatest repast however was my son on All Soul's Day tear-
ing off live chunks: brisket of hind, round primal shoulder,
tenderloin butt, trapezoid au poivre, gravy of knee, rib roast
with vertebral bones, popcorn fingershrimp, eyeball flambee,
langustino toes. I polished the bones like a column of teeth
until finally receiving the bituminous stare of the incriminat-
ing, naked, gnaw-scraped, red-streaked, free-standing skull.


Gordon Massman has published in numerous journals across the US, Canada, and the UK (Harvard Review, Antioch Review, Prism International, Windsor Review, Fire, Georgia Review); his third small press book, The Numbers, was recently published by Pavement Saw Press.