We met at Laughter Pond, me and a man
in a purple cloak.
First we tried to bite each other's tongues off,
it's called Dutch kissing.
Then I made him chocolate chip eggs and read
Lassie Come Home out loud to him.
I individually wrapped his chocolate for him,
I gift-wrapped two melons for him.
He touched the can-opener
and talked about axe care.
And I pictured us in a ski lodge,
boots by the fire.
77 cents will not do the bald eagle any good,
It will not even buy him a cap, I said.
Let me give you a little quiz.
Crabgrass: friend or foe?
Why don't gas stations give out free maps anymore?
The printing press: was it a step forward for mankind?
& he sang me the marine fight song as a lullaby.
& he took me into the slime room.
Make me laugh, he said.
That's not funny.
"Stephanie, would you like to have some more cabernet?
I have to call my mummy."
And then he put me in the slave transport
and gave me normal kisses.
Time for me to learn what it's like
to be in a cage.
Planting a Flag
Two common blue butterflies lap at a small lump of feces laying on a rock.
You don't realize it, but through their vision, you may be a cartoon waffle with giant arms.
I look down at the plate and the peas are arranged to spell out the word peas.
In this world you're special because you're you.
Everybody wins a sweater,
for twenty-five years.
Men call it information-sharing.
I call it love.
I'm gonna put on my sweater.
It's going to extremes that's wrong and should be avoided. You have to live with people. You have to live with yourself, too. Wanting year-round fresh air and sunshine. Plenty of rest and sleep.
A gland is located here at the base of your brain.
A maturing hormone,
a thickened lining
of somewhat velvety material.
you settle down into a routine.
Kyle, I say, pull the kitty's tail. And for dessert I'll make a chocolate layer cake with a cream cheese icing. We'll go on and do the job we set out to do. And do it right. We will point our fingers down toward the floor rapidly, over and over again, gaining speed and then maintaining it. It's me, Marie, and the butcher who supplies me.
Marie Buck is the author of Life & Style (Patrick Lovelace Editions, 2009) and Portrait of Doom (Krupskaya, forthcoming 2015). Her work has been anthologized in Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing and translated into Italian for the magazine Abbiamo le Prove.