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Charles Wax


Standing on the corner
of Surf and Stillwell Ave
Christmas day
dreaming of Alaska
62 below zero
in the mountains
kill a man for sure
or lift his spirit
one simply had to know the realm
to survive.
Suddenly I heard,
“Are you a Doctor
you look like a mind Doctor.”
Sad crazy tormented Jim
wandering the streets
empty of hope
on the day Christ was born
funny red wool hat rising to a point
barely containing his long thick
uncombed grey hair
early twenties
but grief had done its work.
“Some have said so.”
the Voices tell me to kill myself.
They say, ‘Commit suicide, Commit suicide,
Commit suicide.’”
“But you’re still alive! ”
“Too passive
to wallop my skull
to bits.”
I walked towards Meng’s
Jim with me
ordered Christmas dinner
for both of us
meat-loaf, mashed potatoes, coffee
then spotted Deedee
worked hard
but too thin
so never reeled in big cash.
“You want it, ” she asked
not wasting time
well, we both knew each other
and chit-chat would happen later
in a warm room smelling of bug spray
in the Terminal Hotel.
Jim said, “Doctor Sattner tries to help me
but his name sounds evil,
don’t it?

shoots me up with thorazine,
no emancipation
like that word, Doctor?
reading the dictionary
for the calm
told him I need electroshock
cause I can’t take depression
no more.
What are you into? ”
“Should I try? ”
“If you have to you will.”
Deedee stepped to us
and stared at Jim
with an intense tenderness.
“I cry
alone in my bed, ” he said.
“We all been there
but you can’t stay, ” she whispered.
“The Voices.
I’m paralyzed.
My only hope is electroshock.”
“Who goin’ to care for my son?
who goin’ to feed him?
put clothes on his back?
his father?
Hell no.
I got to do it.
You a nice lookin’ fella
a little taste of pussy
lift that depression
right up off you.”
Jim stared at DeeDee
for at least ten seconds
before he sighed,
“When I jerk off
my arm burns
and I hear Heartbreak Hotel.”

Submitted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Edited: Friday, May 03, 2013

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