In my next stop, I am a medical cadaver given to mischief
. . . like waiting for my young charges
to huddle around an exposed organ
before I pass abominable gas,

astonishing in duration and loudness, and the kids all whine,
“Why does he have to do that?”
I’ll have you sprouts know I don’t have to do it—
I want to. Another time, they come into the theater

and find a note pinned to my placebo:
Yea, mark well, ye glum porknells,
don’t draw too thickly the line what divides us,
death from life, living from dead

and, with my hushed young adult readers
thereby nonplussed,
–god, I adore that girl from Sandusky—
I start wiggling my pinkie.

This is a good time and a good gig within which to be
reflective, for I am often alone with my thoughts.
In the dark, too. It is not clear now
what my needs are, what my goals should be.

And, having reached turbulent middle age’s end, I wonder
if one finally matures into love, or maybe
out of it—of greater moment, perhaps, if I weren’t dead,
and being picked over by children, and unattached, anyway.

— Harrison Fisher has published twelve collections of poems since 1977.  After taking the first fifth of the 21st century off, in 2022 he published new poems in The Argotist Online, BlazeVOX, e-ratio, Gyroscope Review, Indicia, Oddball Magazine, Otoliths, and TXTOBJX.

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