KR OnlinePoetry

My Brother, My Gastroenterologist

When it comes to roaches my pug isn’t fussy,
her eyes as black as their glossy shells which
as she roams she erases, slurps as in some
awful Reverse Connect-The-Dots, think Icky
Ms. Pac-Man, as thanks I’ll order her a pink bow
whereas I am the empty blue box in the center
where treats like cherries should glisten. I’m dead
to her, of zero interest while she forages for
the planet’s 2nd hardiest creature, she being first.
Some bugs look alive, their upturned legs like cilia
swaying in her breath, the tunnels of her body
must be busy with them, they are her bloodstream
the way mine is corn & chickens & words.
If the energy in a calorie energy is bioelectric
faint blue glow, can I boil it down & survive
on that alone? That directly? Sounds hearty,
a comfort food I could use this time of year
when the veins of the maple leaves shrivel
& cause those slow & lovely explosions. When
I dream my face has been scalpeled off
from the jaw to the forehead, wiser every year.
When the eyes act up like aging infrastructure
sure I think about eating a bullet, only slowly
enough to savor. One cordite grain at a time.
If the pug gobbles bugs, & if that Frenchman
famous for eating ten bicycles, a supermarket cart,
six chandeliers, eight TV sets, & a Cessna is
the one example of a coffin ending up in a man,
why not track down my brother’s shotgun,
property of the Fort Collins cops who hacksawed
the thing to pieces before I could even hold it
much less swallow its barrel, its sight an appetizer
& chamber the meal, the stock dessert, oil a glaze
in my heart rainbowing into my body. Why yes
officer, I have been gunning, exactly for this, in fact,
shine that light at my eyes they’ll finally shine back.

W. M. Lobko earned his MFA from the University of Oregon. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Washington Square, Post Road, and Grist, and is forthcoming from Hunger Mountain and Catch-Up. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches in New York City, where work on his novel The Quick Brown Fox doggedly continues.