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Death of a Domino

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

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