Grim Story

For one whole decade I was a giant:
my tunic smelled of rotten milk and frying meat;
my knuckles cracked all on their own;
and I had enormous, tired, watery eyes.

Yet the children’s faces lit up at mine;
I was good—when I ate them,
I spit them up again, nom, nom, nom.
Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.

Once upon a time I was a lover too,
cavorting among the fairies, queens,
all of us in rolled-up denims,
balling, in so many ways,  and illegal.

Now, I am shrinking—my son’s hair overtakes me,
standing up like a chariot horse’s mane—
and I am dragged behind him into battle,
my hands bleed and the wind singes my jowls.

In the Wellspring, a cop half my age
shoots the breeze with me, then leaves,
saying Have a nice day, ma’am.
What business have I, being a ma’am?

I very-almost parked in handicapped
but my hybrid wagon, blue fish that carries me

hither and yon, swam in the large spot,
and I thought better of it.

The scabrous odors of war are thick upon me,
I want a ticket out. But I’m so tiny now,

I slip through all the rails,
like jacks through my once-gigantic hands.