Jeffrey McDaniel

(1967 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Disasterology


The Badger is the thirteenth astrological sign.
My sign. The one the other signs evicted: unanimously.

So what? ! Think I want to read about my future
in the newspaper next to the comics?

My third grade teacher told me I had no future.
I run through snow and turn around
just to make sure I've got a past.

My life's a chandelier dropped from an airplane.
I graduated first in my class from alibi school.

There ought to be a healthy family cage at the zoo,
or an open field, where I can lose my mother
as many times as I need.

When I get bored, I call the cops, tell them
there's a pervert peeking in my window!
then I slip on a flimsy nightgown, go outside,
press my face against the glass and wait...

This makes me proud to be an American

where drunk drivers ought to wear necklaces
made from the spines of children they've run over.

I remember my face being invented
through a windshield.

All the wounds stitched with horsehair
So the scars galloped across my forehead.

I remember the hymns cherubs sang
in my bloodstream. The way even my shadow ached
when the chubby infants stopped.

I remember wishing I could be boiled like water
and made pure again. Desire
so real it could be outlined in chalk.

My eyes were the color of palm trees
in a hurricane. I'd wake up
and my id would start the day without me.

Somewhere a junkie fixes the hole in his arm
and a racing car zips around my halo.

A good God is hard to find.

Each morning I look in the mirror
and say promise me something
don't do the things I've done.

Submitted: Thursday, February 14, 2008
Edited: Friday, February 15, 2008

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