by Juliet Cook
A dark ghost key inserts itself
into a dark ghost ignition.
Dark as in can’t comprehend
the specific delineations
of the interlocking parts,
but sometimes hear
the sudden click. Others,
it’s more of an amorphous sound.
More of a jittery insinuation.
More of an oily slinkiness.
A motor an uneven rev
in a tattered throat.
Pleurisy throats. A dark ghost
with many cockeyed heads,
the wormy kittens come out.
Small, patchy army of bedlam.
Scritching, scraggling, scrabbling,
festering scabs on their undersides,
milk lust in their eyes. Some bulging,
some slits. Some pinworms squiggling.
Some pinholes where something tried to affix
them to poster board, but they weren’t good
poster children. They weren’t anybody else’s
art project. They were mine.
I poked holes to try to drain them,
but they just bubbled up into more
ghost ignitions. They are mine,
but they don’t come when called.
They come whenever they want to.
When they come I have to balance
rickety dishes of spoiled milk upon
precarious ledges. I have to pose
rancid scraps of cottage ham,
plumply peeking out of netting.
I won’t say their names aloud.
I won’t hand feed them, but I do
have to watch them lick my sick
offerings with diseased tongues
and diseased tongues get stuck
in a notch. In a dark ghost ignition
in a lobe. I have to watch them ruin
another failed attempt to write them off.
Another deformity is pinworms stream out
the whole time the motor is running and I can’t
stop thinking rev and shiv make a good off rhyme
until shiv is replaced with handfuls of bodkins.
Another deformity is the claws never retract.
They just get buried in mounds of oily meat.
assembly line doll head roach hotel
doll wig hackling
pulling hairy erections out
tiny holes in rubber scalp
then snip, snip, snip
tiny holes in bisque scalp
require more attention
paid to the coiffure
the mind drifts again to courtesans,
hard candy crotch, overheated ceramics,
steamy mass in a basin, candied brain stem
dopamines cut off with dull silver
blade strokes, guillotined heads lobbed,
hairline fractures oozing
gel into the sale bin
the mind drifts again to cock
roaches laying eggs in the cracks
of hollow pates, baby doll bug gut
follicular fusion, planting a roach hotel
inside the head inserted via empty eye hole
then inserting the eye; now she’s a death’s head,
a corpse vat, a decorative vessel for rot,
a pretty little toddler faced creepy crawly
urn with perfect hairdo, with pink bow
lips, the gift behind which insecticide breeds