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  • Her Ex-Husband Teaches the Flatworm Right from Wrong, and: Feeling Sorry for Myself on My Lunch Hour, and: The “Armless Wonder” Fights Depression on the Night before Valentine’s Day
  • Yi-Fen Chou (bio)

Her Ex-Husband Teaches the Flatworm Right from Wrong

With only this simple cluster of ganglia for a brain, a loose tangle

of nerves for an eyespot, and the soft zero of my toothless mouth,

I attempt to understand the T-mazes of your laboratory where

zapped to the north or fed to the south, I crawl. Again and

again, digesting dabs of your sugar with this rudimentary

gut, or blind and deaf in a boneless coil of inarticulate

discomfort, I learn. Oh, I learn. [End Page 131]

Feeling Sorry for Myself on My Lunch Hour

Monday’s habitual grump versus the twitter of birds fucking in scrub along the railroad tracks: I decline

the comparison, bearded in potato chip crumbs, inadequate here beneath April’s folderol—

But the tattered stalks from last year’s cattails are stringy with fish milt. Even poison ivy festoons

the chain-link fence. Snails filigree the rhubarb! Tadpoles kiss the puddle’s surface! Who could

possibly compete? Whose thumb has ever evolved clever enough? What tool could I devise

to hoist myself intact from today’s long nail or draw the hook from my own stiff jaw?

The “Armless Wonder” Fights Depression on the Night before Valentine’s Day

With my scrupulous toes I’ll roll just one last perfect cigarette, while the lions

yawn (jaws flecked with their rabbit’s blood suppers) and slouch back [End Page 132]

to their corners. Daubing lipstick at her mirror, my favorite acrobat prepares

for another night out with the Strongman—

O how she flushes, whenever he bends another cold steel bar as thick as your thumb,

as if wrists alone could replace the world’s gravitational pull . . .

Yi-Fen Chou

Yi-Fen Chou works as a technical writer and part-time antiques dealer in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His work has appeared in Shenandoah, Cimarron Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review, with additional poems forthcoming in Sonora Review.



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pp. 131-133
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