Wednesday, December 3, 2014

From Volume 35: A poem by Kevin Pilkington

Kevin Pilkington

Flu Shot

I try not to look at the woman

walking towards me but her skirt

is no bigger than a bandage and

her heels are so high she might need

an oxygen tank rather than the suitcase

on wheels she pulls behind her.

I just hope the two assholes she

is walking next to aren’t with her.

The guy on her right is in a suit

and wears a toupee that looks

like a black squirrel fell off a tree,

landed on his head and didn’t

survive the fall. He’s talking to the guy

next to him with hair plugs resembling the hair

on the head of Chatty Cathy the doll

my sister dragged everywhere when she

was a kid. Maybe I’m just pissed off

my arm is aching. I only left

the doctor’s office ten minutes ago

after getting a flu shot. I hate needles

and this one looked like the Empire

State Building; when he injected it

I could feel at least seventy floors

enter my arm. No wonder it feels so heavy.

Then for some reason discovering

there was a couple of hundred bucks

in my bank account when I thought

it empty; seeing a Hopper canvas

for the first time or hearing

the Clifford Brown with Strings

CD is how I felt seeing the girl

with the bandage end up standing next to me.

Even her taking out a cigarette as we

waited for the light to change couldn’t

diminish the moment. Of course

I didn’t notice how the smoke slid

out of her mouth or the way it

sounded rubbing up against a breeze,

perhaps the way that skirt of hers

might, slowly sliding down her legs.


Editor's Note: In the printed edition, the line "next to him with hair plugs resembling the hair" appeared indented, which was our error. Here it is correct.

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