He steps outside of his putty house

and stares at the midnight sun;

catches flurries

of pastel colored barnacles on his tongue.


Candy-coated cigarettes, puffed in

rings of lavender scented mist toward the stars.


The humans make their way through slush

and liquid concrete.

Golf cart garbage men

slip between

alleys and nail polish junkies lounge against

fence posts.  Their chests are closed, sewed –

bits of stitching here –            and there.


In his restaurant, teetering

over a silken sea,

the hearts cook in pots of oil, thick

and oozing. Sizzle! POP!

They hiss like lightning,

tremble with birdsong.

“Order Up!”

Hollow wooden waiters serve them, still

beating on icy plates.


Grapefruit-sized holes gape

in each patron’s chest.

Their noses sniff, perk; not seeing

but still, the smell of warmth, touch.


Roses on Valentine’s Day and love notes,

familiar raised lines and loops –

like braille, flattened

by starvation.


Pink blood

spills onto the clouds,


as they gobble with paws and claws.


He watches, as he does every day,

through glasses of mantis shrimp eyes,

and waits for sunrise.


Gabrielle Tyson

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