The blade they will use to remove your face
it can never be sharp enough it will be so sharp
that it’s drawn from a specialized case or drawer
but still they should use lasers for this, blazing
tools from the future. They will cut off your face
only if their tools jam in your sinuses or vessels
burst chaotic but you feel sure they will cut
and toss your face like a slice of fresh pizza
onto a far instrument cart or flatten your face
onto sterilized steel or hang it from a blunt
hook on the table or pile it into a nurse’s close
hands or drape it loose over a green shoulder.
Really if they have to cut and peel your face
they will leave a strip of flesh and will flap
the skin back over your brow to be reattached
later and it will stare eyeless up at the lights.
You will be somewhere far below your face
and you will have it there with you or really
more honestly you will have nothing there
with you. For a short time or a very long time
you will be and feel and fear and know nothing.
Your children will drink coffee in the lounge
while the surgeons work but throughout it you
will be nothing. Everything will be nothing.
TIM DICKS‘s writing appeared most recently in Dark Sky Magazine and matchbook. He contributes to the Uncanny Valley Magazine blog and recently finished a novel featuring a monster that lives on the Moon.
he didn’t even care that his gray sweater had a cross-stitched
picture of two cats playing with yarn.
nor did he care that the “a” in cats was a heart.
all he was concerned with was smelling the begonias
and making chit chat with the filipino proprietor at
the farmers market.
the 30-something knucklehead with visible tattoos and
a social distortion t-shirt who kept bumping into him
and all those in their vicinity
could have learned a thing or two.
RYAN RITCHIE is a 31-year-old writer who will owe someone a lot of money when he finished his MFA at UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center. His work has been published in Haggard & Halloo, Burning Shore Review, Modern Drunkard, Dogmatika and the Freefall Review.
Coyotes and wolves are nearly identical
except the coyotes have developed the ability to adapt,
to learn to eat garbage
and sleep under your shed.
Tom says pigeon parents push
their young off bridges just to see if they are ready to fly.
And if they aren’t?
It is no surprise they are related to the Dodo,
millions of miniature Prince Prosperos leading their people to doom,
tiny Icaruses splashing into seas of New York City taxicabs,
though it is doubtful Breughel would take the time
to illustrate their unnoticed fall
nor Auden or Williams to sit down and illustrate the illustration.
This is hardly a dreadful martyrdom,
but is it an example of evolution, modification,
a malevolent twist of Darwinism,
of how most adaptations are less than beautiful,
far from practical?
The man with a coyote under his shed will most likely say “What is that damn coyote
doing under my shed?”
and not “What have we done to the world that coyotes are relegated
to sleeping under our sheds?”
And that is why,
when Tom tells me about the pigeons,
a girl in the room,
quite possibly with a coyote of her own in her backyard
and obviously unaware of the significance of these tiny birds,
merely says, “What did they do before there were bridges?”
MIKE MAHER is the founder and editor of Sea Giraffe, an online literary ‘zine. He currently reads, writes, edits, and walks his dog in Pennsylvania’s Pocono mountains. His poetry, fiction, and personal essays can be seen in publications like The Smoking Poet, The Ofi Press Magazine, Calliope, and Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure. While earning his BA in English from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, he served as the Vice President and Forum Editor of The Stroud Courier, winning the Jim Barniak Award for journalism twice during his time there. He also won the Martha E. Martin Award for poetry while at ESU.