Cope Don’t Mope
Jordan StemplemanPoetry / Number 87
I took the first prank of the day and swam to it
for calling me out. It readily blabbed. The body of it,
below the neck, gone in the black water, its head
all drunken humor, lopsided like the tail of a carrot.
It told me that my problem today was I looked nothing
like the shower raining down on a child-sized bed
where a loaf of bread stands. You are not what hums
in the featured grubby plate of Venus flytraps.
You do not travel within a fighter jet within the dark
endless slick of a younger Ice T’s hair.
Until the flood that follows greens the rebuilt road
your common rash will return. And the dynamite, a mess,
merely goes poof. I’m the chubby lisper who cuts hearts
from under the soaking bed. No matter what.
Jordan Stempleman’s most recent collections include No, Not Today and the forthcoming Wallop. He edits The Continental Review, runs the Common Sense Reading Series, and teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute.Image by Vincent van Zalinge