My grandfather gave me a Lou Gherig’s Machine
which was a lot less fun than the Rube Goldberg
Machine that my aunt got May in March even though
I never got to see how it works when I lost my head
and torso of The Monkey who’s supposed to push
the marble down the track when the strings are
pulled by my father, who beat me and my sister
at monopoly even when she was the banker. He
said that’s how the world worked and collected
his unemployment check from the waitress who
somehow managed to maintain great patience
with the third order of steak after the first two
were too well done. The 3rd cow’s juices dribbled
down the edge of my father’s plate and I vowed
to go Hindu or Muslim or full-blown Jain— I could
see myself waiting in the shade of date trees for
yesterday’s breakfast to fall on my lap. I have heard
of an Indian man who hasn’t had food in fifty years.
I assume the injustice he’s passively resisting is con-
sistently fixing up extraterrestrial pyramid schemes.
The whetherman says it seems this whole week will
rain even more lies than advertised— and I think I’m
awake. The sun has come up but my room is opaque.
—A Pulmonary Tease