Photo Shoot

Think about gravel

Think about the mud of Io,

Pungent deep brown of fertilizer

And Costa Rican coffee beans

Thin of strawberry jam smeared

On the gashed flank of a manatee

Her unfertilized purple eggs

Throbbing in a grotto

Now, smile

Think about SKYPING the Pope

From a Quonset hut in the middle

Of a Malakai mine field in

Upper Nile State, Southern Sudan

Benedict’s eggs frying in Yad Vashem

Hey Pope, you trope!

How’re they hangin’?

Entschuldigen sie, bitte?1

Watchoo say?

I say, where are the Mujahedeen

When you really need them.

Shift slightly to the right.

Nope, Pope, I was just pulling

Your thurible incense thing

What I want to know is

Your opinion of the elements

Should they be allowed to

Continue to exist? Or are they

Simply fantastic figments of

Your mother-in-law’s mirror ball?

Said the Pope, and I quote:

Without them, the prophets would

Never have been born in a trunk

The archangel Lucifer would still be

Ticklin’ those ivories in Gahanna

And the Disciples would suffer

A paucity of peanut butter,

Suffered at the Last Supper.

Cup your face in your hand.

Ich danke Sie, Heilige Kõnig2

I muffle into my machete,

Thinking of tenterhooks,

Tonsils and toenails rattling

Rolling on that image on the way

To the nearest objective Imam,

Think about a woman being stoned

For her lover’s infidelities

Think about random careless cruelty

That twists and burns

Think of fat dripping off the spit

Think, as well, about the lemon surf

Pulsing in the lungs of Venus’s nipples

And the smell of mothballs

In your favorite uncle’s coffin

Add this to your resume

Six years in solitary, undulating

Shake your hair a bit—

Yeah, that’s nice.

Think about the Busby Berkeley precision

Of planets on roller derby debacles

Circling a dying sun with no trepidation

Think about cells sketching virtual

Self-extincting parabolas in silent cocoa

So, if you were a sugarloaf and I a mole,

Do you think we’d have good sex?

And if marble was soluble and piss gold,

Would harvested organs demand their rights

Or furry flounders stop knitting leukocytes?

What do you think of the unstable cost of snot?

Will we soon achieve a continental glut?

Cialis meadows wave at the leaves

Think of the ominous silence of peas

Take your clothes off now, if you please

We’re ready to dig in

-Joanie Fritz Zosike
March 13, 2010