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He is dying

to be a vegetarian, but his wife won't have it.

She slaps a steak, rare, on his plate.

He drools. Eat

she says. You can't fool me.

He desires her, but she won't let him

fuck her, afraid his dick might fall off.

He masturbates with forefinger and thumb.

She uses a vibrator, which one day

he finds in the john, and smells it,

then unzips, and smelling the plastic helps him along.

Everyone in bed but him, he flicks on a zombie movie.

These undead: stupid, bumbling, and their one-note

Brains. They eat brains, but need one, he thinks.

He starts to drool. Ashamed, he checks the fridge

and builds a salad: lettuce, onion, a slice

of eggplant, tomatoes, green pepper.

He can't watch the rest of the flick.

He switches to the weather channel. A blonde

is talking fast and waving her arms as she traces a front,

with high winds which will arrive

at the zombie's town soon.

The way the woman's breasts

hypnotize, the way clouds, wind, lines of latitude,

longitude, and words about barometric pressure

and dew point fall from her lips—it's poetry.

Of course, he unzips, and what the hell,

grabs it with his whole hand.

If it falls off, he won't have this problem

with desire anymore. Or wait. What about

the prostate? He needs info. No

encyclopedia, and the only computer's in his daughter's room.

He'll have to wait. As soon as he stops

worrying, he's staring again at the forecaster—

his private love firing on all pixels,

nothing falling yet,

into it with all his heart.

Charles Cantrell, a retired English professor and power lifter, has published many poems in dozens of literary magazines, from Poetry Northwest and Southern Poetry Review to The Literary Review, MARGIE and others, He has new poems in Stoneboat, and The Hurricane Review, with others forthcoming in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Paterson Literary Review, Chiron Review, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, The South Carolina Review, and others.
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