Two Poems


Dude, I used to sleep all day.
I didn’t have to work just to
survive. A friendly monkey
brought me bananas. I’d play
fetch with it for hours without
getting bored and dive into
the pure lake, talk to the fishies.
“Dude, the turtle smacked you,
no way! I’ll have to teach bro
a lesson.” Call me a slacker
if you want. I don’t care, dude.
My do was long and golden,
my pectorals were bitchin’,
I had it made. Then she came
along—out of my ribs—no
way! I didn’t mind sharing
the garden at first. She did
the cliff. She’d listen to me
brag and not get bored once.
At least, that’s what I thought,
but after the apple brouhaha,
she’s been riding my ass to grow
some wheat, find those gazelles,
even help her with the babies.
What a drag! I have a feeling
this will be temporary, though.
Who else does God have?
We were tight, dude. If we stood
next to each other, side by side,
no animal could tell us apart.

May I See?

Where are the toys? We ask
the rich kids, who are now
tied to the sturdiest oaks,
blindfolded with smelly socks,

their school uniforms removed
so they can feel the heat
of our wandering hot pokers,
waved around like sparklers.

Our Christmases we received
little torturer kits, dad’s cigarette
cartons, lighters and alcohol,
multiple punches in our noses

teaching us the best methods
to make someone feel pain.
Their code forbids them to answer.
Though they shake their vaults

won’t open. We scar their legs
to make them crack; they scream
butlers’ names, too far away
to come running with pistols.

We punch their moist bodies;
they just spit at us, saliva
tinged with gold. They bruise
in the shapes of doubloons.

They just stand there, smile.
Helicopters will fly above us
and find them with spotlights.
Ropes will magically undo

themselves, their fathers will
throw down golden ladders,
they’ve been expecting
to climb up for years.

Donald Illich has published poetry in The Iowa Review, LIT, Fourteen Hills, Passages North, and Cold Mountain Review. He was a semifinalist in the “Discovery”/Boston Review 2008 Poetry Contest.


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