Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chute Man

A man hung from a tiny parachute
drops into the darkness of an umbrella stand,
and the strange thing is that
this takes place in your foyer near the shoes
and under hatrack. Should one of those toppers
slip from a nub as (let’s face it) hats sometimes do,
the man might be forgotten, entombed
inside an empty death hollow.
Such a man might survive for some time
in the darkness, having no drink or grub, but
at a point the throat tires of the screams, the body
feels depleted and the mind,
once capable of such pretty feats,
succumbs to the heavy black.
And at that very moment, the tv
in the next room is playing reruns
of Ozzie Nelson asking Thorny
that question that seems to stump us all:
            Say you’re driving your car
and you’re supposed to
stop and wait at every red light. What if
you see a lantern?
And that little man who has long-since eaten
every last string and parachute shred
says You think YOU’VE got problems.

First published in Ugly Cousin.

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