Academic journal article Chicago Review

From Pathogen

Academic journal article Chicago Review

From Pathogen

Article excerpt

A trader in quarantine:

something horrible is happening

inside of me when i was little i

wasn't ever sick just once

a wasp flew on my lip i gasped

for air and nearly swallowed it in

panic mental burdens carried

over from childhood can prevent

them from becoming successful

players on the market i had chased

the wasps around our garden

trampling the flowerbeds my

mother's flowers and lured them into

empty jamjars my friends used to

cut them into tiny slices

with their fathers; razor blades and

thread them on their fishing hooks

best bait for flying fish they told me

i just kept my wasps locked up

in jars house arrest for evil wasps

sealed the lids airtight with rubber bands

and waited till they suffocated to

err is curable or else i'd

stick them in my lunchbox with

some butterflies and crickets

jungles made of chewing gum

dandelions stale nutella

then ask the showoffs if they

wanted to make a deal what's in

your box peanut butter gummi bears

and chocolate and you want to trade

that for a cheese sandwich of course we

sabotage ourselves whenever we

behave like children and not

intelligent adults in

exchange they'd kick me in the shin or

hold me down and goose my crotch

or tell the girls i crapped inside

my pants in gym and had to wear

my sister's long red winter stockings

which they'd steal and drape out of reach

on the backboard or the rim

i wasn't ever sick never caught

the flu or things like that when

other kids were blowing kleenex full

of snot or had to stay home

all day and watch tv i always

had to go to school once i coughed

like i had lung disease and

taped it on my mini mono

cassette recorder and turned it

way up loud so that my parents

heard and in return they made me

wear the stockings and inhale

chamomile steam their feelings

have an immediate impact on

their portfolios these weaklings

always getting sick i've been healthy

all my life a true asset when i

took the job i told them to

their faces i'm very highly

motivated creative young

big ideas no scruples the

company cannot afford to lose

me honeybees were always safe

never caught them in my jars

honeybee cake was my favorite

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