Corporate bought the man
a greeting card but forgot
what for, the whole office unsure
if it was cancer or a wedding
or a divorce or a local family
member beheading, so the card
featured a simple flower on the front
while the inside read,
“Congratulations, we’re sorry,
thank you for everything.”
When the man arrived at work
ten minutes early on Monday morning
he read the card a few times
and wept quietly at his desk,
his shoulders muted jackhammers.
The card now hangs on his mantel
next to photos of his newborn
and an assortment of strongly
scented candles. His wife’s favorite.
My Head Pond
I develop an X-Ray
that captures ghosts and point
it at my skull, tell my doctor
to clear my head of the dead residents
living within my ears. My doctor tells me
I am the first person to have him
question god. Everything feels
off, like eating a salad with a spoon.
I jump into the pool and realize
it’s my neighborhood pond, the one
full of eels. No one says
anything. Everyone’s busy
driving their children
to soccer and ballet.
The lunchtime train smells
like purse dust. I cough
during dinner. Your father
never forgives me.
I take a needle to my neck; no more
rabies. Foaming isn’t an option.
I’m fine, but who put the medicine
man in charge? He’s decapitating everyone.
Benjamin Niespodziany is a night librarian at the University of Chicago. He runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas] and has had work published in Ghost City Press, Occulum, formercactus, Five2One, and a batch of others.