More Child Fear

by Gary Percesepe

after Jim Harrison


Deviled eggs.  Scalded water. Papery wasps nests.

Women with tremulous breasts. Going down the swimming pool drain.

Rattle snake tensing beneath the sole of my red Sesame Street boot.

Giant green lake eels covered in moss. Electrified frying of summer bugs.

White German Shepherd runs down Stanley Avenue in a Yonkers of

bitter memory. Dentist's drills & spitting blood into a white porcelain sink.

Hairy Kissinger and jowly Nixon. Steel haired elementary principal whose disembodied voice

announced the latest assassination. Arson at the Jewish Community Center, missing

classmates, two empty chairs. Peeling sunburn, the long hacking cough of parents,

two dog graves dug with toy shovels. The persistent thought that I must

always remember to impersonate the nearly normal.


That God could not hear my prayers. Or maybe it's true, Jim,

you sumbitch, perhaps planes fly holes in all our stalled prayers.