DK (11-22-1952 / Batavia, New York)

Goddess Of Beautiful Atrocities

Elsie takes deep breaths,
and strains to count the times
she's crossed her heart and
sworn to flee this blighted city.

In the frying pan,
two eggs are smoldering.
Smoke chokes the kitchen.

In the basement,
Walter's baritone horn makes
its usual farting noises.

Walter disappeared three years ago.
He left Elsie with zero dollars
and a pair ofdemonically possessed twins.

In Elsie's mind, Joe Bob and
Jim Bob are eighty feet tall.
In reality, they paint each other
with cat turds and cigarette ashes,
and scream and squall like banshees
on the brink of death.

Their cacophony consists of
two-fifths public rage,
three-fifths private terror.

Fur brushes agains
Elsie's legs. She glares down at
the gimpy old calico, then repeats
the curses which have replaced
her prayers.

Clyde, the mange-ridden furball
too stupid to die.
The ghost of Walter, hideously
off-key on his perverted baritone.
The twin drooling monsters
spat from her groin four years ago.
By morning, all must be but dust
on the windowsill.

Clyde chokes and retches.
This always happens when
he tries to purr.
Elsie slowly scrapes
the charred eggs into
Clyde's dish.

Elsie suddenly starts to squeal.
Squeals two-fifths resignation,
three-fifths disgust.

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