Mitchell Grabois

The elephant’s side has been slashed, blood seeps from horizontal wounds. Wild onions, dust, blood, semen, dry-rot, canvas: the smell in the tent is overpowering.
She finally moved from Fukushima, fled its failed, toxic nuke plant. I wasn’t close to her. Don’t want to be close to her.
The paralyzed slip from their wheelchairs. The homeless unholster naked dreams. In a ramshackle local stadium, old women, toothless but lithe, leap into the air and prepare for war.
I get nervous when she moves toward me, arms wide, with a smile unnaturally bright, like the ladies who painted radium on watch dials and licked their brushes to keep them pointy.
The taxi was taking us to a converted mansion on the beach in Santa Monica, where drug addicts would scream at us so we could be redeemed. Back at home, your father’s Mexican death images jumped off the canvas.
I don’t want to love her. Don’t want to be inside her. No means no.
Your younger sisters demanded I play tetherball. They were jumping beans, then finally only blurs of blue and yellow. My arm got wrapped in the rope. I was pinned to the pole, a Cinco de Mayo casualty.

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