Rib Cage [poem]

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rib_cage

He blankly gazed into the menu
ordered spare ribs
(never looking up — no smile)
How come I knew he’d order those?
I’d only seen him for a little while.
Somehow those ribs were written on his face.
Maybe I word-associated so that phrase
had somehow represented who he was:
A prisoner swaddled in a cage
[like ribs which never really come as spare]
life lived on the outside in his head
through fantasies of masturbation’s dry instead
ness
monthsome empty hole unbled
ness
nestling there.
A sad affair.

He ate those ribs as if they were his blow-up dolly —
owned the words (though afterwards said sorry
for the hurt he’d caused)
[no lubrication used — so dolly’s bruised].
Now there’s a man who one could call confused.
He loves those ribs and cherishes that doll;
unfolly won’t be his
while rattling in the cage he made
where dolly stayed —
her silent rage
his cold ejaculatory stage
his false inflatable bliss.

He came. I wept.
I swear that since I saw his face
I’ve hardly slept at all.
His story, like so many more,
engraved with unspare ribs galore.
.
.
© Alan Morrison, 2013

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