• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12

How to use ‘unfriend’ as a verb

A bloody-aproned lad at the littered bench to your right
has hollowed the body of an inverted monkey
using a blunt knife and a silver spoon
as you might attack a soft-boiled egg
                                                        its fragile skull
clamped between the oily jaws of a bench-top vice
like a glove puppet undergoing repairs as you lean close
you look right up the loose skirt to the rim of the finger-hole

and the beardless boy explains nothing if he speaks at all
and moves on to a second alien-headed moppet-shape
standing the right way up this time and if his first task
was really a complete lower body amputation
this one’s head is loose already
                                             he must have severed
the neck though child-like sounds of clicks and squalls
of the longer vowels still rise from the O of the finger-hole
now a third head implying a whole-bodied simian figure
cuts itself dead in a mirror—
                                           O self unseeing—
out of frame a fourth sprawls prone and motionless
its shaggy head surely not capable of tenderness
yet staring entranced into a glowing shard of glass
that is a screen—then jump cut—molly molly—
                                                                    deleted meme—
how many monkey-seeming selves as cannonball heads
can you see falling foul of the boy-doctor’s cluttered desk
and if he’s you (you think he’s god) could he not be then
anyone who shrugs and sighs and gets to work again