Cerberus Smiling

October 3, 1996

There is at least one moment each day when I imagine my own
excruciating death. This evening, at my desk, I saw myself smothered
by a gang of Italian supermodels. Space Debris fell from the ceiling.

Last night fear choked up my own passion and penchant for naming things,
while tomorrow perhaps a group of cocktail waitresses will spray me with gin and tonic
as I cower naked on the hard wood floor.

One day, I will turn on the faucet and a tornado will swirl in the wrong direction,
searching my body like an early autopsy.

Yet another time, I will be under a wave back in the summer of my youth, trying to make it cover
me like the kind of cheap blanket they use when nobody actually wants to get warm.


I only own one photograph of my Brother and I together. We are
lying flat on our bellies, framed by a pile of leaves in a deserted field.

Our best friend sits on top of us, taunting and triumphant,
enthroned and embutterflied.

You can hardly make out my sloppy face in this photograph, but I am
the third head of Cerberus peering out from underneath the leaves,
arguing that I am there. There is a dark substance marking one
side of my mouth – dried blood possibly, or the trace of a shadow.

All three of us appear to be smiling, although it isn’t easy to tell.

I hardly remember this day at all.

*a version of this poem was published in Sparkle & Blink, and featured in a show with Quiet Lightning in SF.

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