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  • Oysters for Breakfast
  • Thomas Hawks (bio)

Spent fuel rods dream in their baths While Sir Laurence Olivier laughs because Tony Curtis Thinks he means oysters. The green baths Steam. Nothing in this world can hurt us

But in the next, cloistered fuel rods dream Of flying over Tokyo. It’s really about sex Sigmund Freud explained nearly a hundred years ago. I only seem To be crying. Our safeword is: a Tyrannosaurus rex

With the face of Tony Curtis rises out of Tokyo Bay. This happens every day. And when the first ship disappears In whirlpools Tony Curtis and Sir Laurence Olivier Fill their marble bath with tears

And feed each other golden Nashi pears. This happens everywhere. One night, in Prague Behind a velvet curtain, up spiral stairs Tony Curtis unfurled his green flesh like a flag.

It was surprisingly dry. Even the red spine Quivering beneath the lips of Harajuku girls In sailor skirts, those pouty lips the shade of iodine- 131, even the tips, even the swollen frills

Were dry. He only seemed to be bleeding and I Practiced descending by him on the stair. Scarlett O’Hara Was not more sheer than I. I was all sky. My pearl gown burned behind me like a cloud, and in my mirror

Tony Curtis wept for the dead. Atlanta. Sendai. The concrete-reinforced containment tanks are bones, bone- Dry and fuel rods burst into translucent flames. Is it my birthday? Oh, you shouldn’t have. The only thing to give to Rome Is love. [End Page 1]

Thomas Hawks

Thomas Hawks teaches English at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. His poems have appeared previously in the Antioch Review, the Literary Review, Poet Lore, the Seneca Review, and Sou’wester and are forthcoming in the South Dakota Review.



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