from (C)OVID'S METAMORPHOSIS, Book the Fourth

The Story of Leucothoe and the Sun

In lieu of flowers, please send Funyuns.
I took to the muumuu far too easily,
you see, the mashed potatoes
of my middle jiggling gently.  I would run

but am easily winded.  I would wear
m’lady’s fishnets over my head 
if I thought it would prevent
the transmission of seed

to plant.  The sun machine
is coming down & we’re going to have 
a party in the breezeway 
with paper towels & dried beans.

Let love in but be sure 
to maintain a safe distance 
lest ye be marked unclean
& dried & burnt to purge the spirits
of disease. 

The Transformation of Clytie

Invent a simple story to explain
basic phenomena, like how 
the neighbors cluster in pods 
because the sun has turned 
them into finches for malice
or how dead plants linger 
in terrariums for years 
while sprouting potatoes 
in the pantry loop fronds
for former, more formal
arrangements. Stranger, please stay 
beyond the zoonotic spillover zone,
for stale tales wail over stone.  Under
the layers, she’s as misbegotten 
as you are.  Death might 
pop a wheelie as he waves his scythe,
but it shouldn’t stop you
from jamming a stick 
in his spokes and sending him 
chin first into the sea
where the deathless jellies 
float like ghosts in the dark.

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from (C)OVID'S METAMORPHOSIS, Book the Fifth

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