The Sad Sorry Sounds Made By Dying Creatures

This morning, I put a brown paper
shopping bag over my head.
I determined where to poke out holes
for my eyes, then removed the bag and did so.


Then, I put the paper sack back over my head
and marched eight blocks down Elmwood Avenue
to the Municipal Housing Office.


As I entered the office, I removed the bag.
Some of my face came off with it.
'I'm here to apply for Section 8, ' I said meekly.
The four hundred pound creature behind
the desk grunted at me.


'We only take people with intact faces, '
she snarled, the contempt in her voice palpable.
'Come back when you look like a real
human being.' she added mockingly.


'Your face is a pail of lard.' I told her, spitting
on her desk before I shuffled out the door.
Once home, I tried duct tape, liquid cement, superglue.


Anything which would restore my face
to a semblance of social respectability.
Nothing worked. Nothing could.


My face will only become whole
when I lose all shame.

by David Kowalczyk

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