Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

What Kind of Monster

Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

What Kind of Monster

Article excerpt

What kind of monster spits a wad of gum in a urinal?

Blue. Brain-folded.

Pregnant with identifying evidence.

DNA. Marks from teeth

that will long outlast the flesh.

Because a yellow rubber glove with a hand inside

with the hand of an eternal spirit inside of both

will have to fish that out of there.

And scrub the whole thing down,

porcelain and chrome,

with a green sponge and

the spray-bottle mist of

chemicals known to cause central nervous system defects

if used without proper ventilation.

My mom wasn't embarrassed by the thought of me,

sixteen, walking around in no-name shoes,

or denim with a counterfeit stitch-pattern

across the back pockets,

or working crappy jobs.

I located the origin, formerly a mystery to me,

of money. I mowed lawns and pulled weeds.

I harvested sweet corn and onions and radishes.

I washed dishes and operated a deli slicer.

I was a sad narcissus in a hairnet

contemplating my reflection

in a razor-sharp disk of stainless steel

between slices of black forest ham.

And I scrubbed countless elementary school toilets.

Chris, the head janitor, had some disabilities.

But he wasn't blind

to student mockery or teacher patronage or my half-assed work. …

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