New poems
by A.J. Huffman



My Purse Committed Suicide


in the middle of WalMart at 6:32 p.m.
on a Friday. It jumped
from the children’s safety seat
with an explosive thud
on the barren white floor. The entrails
of my life spread, a visceral display
for everyone to see. My key collection,
an homage to laziness fanned an array
of past mistakes. Bitter metal
memories of ex’s apartments
and motorized lemons landed at my feet.
I jumped out of the way
before they could touch me, but not
soon enough for my panic pills to see me,
save themselves. My heart
already racing like a NASCAR engine
from seeing my last menstrual pad, flapping,
partially unwrapped, its wings waving
goodbye to my uterus and the world,
forced me past conduct considered
to be civil. I scrambled for my little white
prescription angels, forced them
into my mouth with both hands, swallowed
dry bitterness and momentary relief
before I realized the sorrowful looks
of pity were for me.



a short black line


Whose Your Daddy?


Barbie is pregnant. After all
these years, she is glowing in the Happy
Family of her title. Ken is
confused. Admittedly, he is not
the brightest doll in the toy box, but last
time he checked (this morning) he was still
anatomically incorrect. So was Barbie.
Or at least that’s what he was told
when he called the help line. Great!
Immaculate conception. Just what they needed:
more press. He could see the headlines
now: [Non-denominational couple
next on Jerry Springer. With special guests:
Buddha, Jesus, and Allah]. Can a god even take
a paternity test anyway!?! Oh the humanity . . .


Somebody please melt my head
before it explodes.



a short black line


July 10th


is Teddy Bear Picnic Day according to the memo
on my calendar. Teddy Bear Picnic Day,
the implications are . . . disturbing
to say the least. I am sure
the intensions (or I hope the intentions) behind
the day were dripping with childlike frivolity:
bring a teddy bear to a picnic in the park;
throw your teddy bears
their own picnic in the playroom. But
the wording is wrong. The official designation “Teddy
Bear Picnic Day” congers cannibalistic images
of meaningless massacre. My mind flips
through would-be crime scene shots
of teddy heads on a platter, perhaps
with apples in their mouths. Side dishes
of fluffy ear dippers, followed by paw puffed pastries.
Blink the page over, scenes of the slaughter[house]
resonate worse. Sanitary white-
uniformed butchers stringing toys up by their toes.
Slash flash seconds
later disgorged filler flies across the floor only
to have its evidence swept quickly
towards the trash shoot. I shudder
at the (damned but delightful) thought:
the perfect picture of transgression
from the innocence of childhood into the callous
indifference of being
a grown up.



a short black line


Because Fuzzy


slippered midnight mind trips lead
me backwards in slumbered count
of silly sheep dressed like flowers,
I pick them to wear
in my hair, though their constant
baaanter makes my insomnia
worse. I laugh at what the coroner
would think if I died in this mental
state. Would he see me for what I
have found? *sigh* I doubt
his eyes register that particular shade
of confusion.




a black line

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