Almost Virtually This Day
At first she wanted a Charlie Brown Christmas.
The big bad wolf blew that one away.
So she invited Ken and Barbie over for lunch.
Fell through. Barbie was plastic PMSing, Ken
had a golf date with GI Joe.
She rang up Captain America as a backup shield.
All she got was a wrong number beeping in her
ear so much that it made her skull red.
Next she tried Don Juan, entire disaster—he was out
She did her nails, drank a glass of wine, wondered
if she was a total loser.
Finally got a text from Betty Boop. Red Riding Hood
was dead. Run over by a hunter with a deer slung
across the bumper.
She threw away all her comics and made final arrangements.
The girl with the thick black glasses in
biology class pretended that she hated
dissecting frogs, scalpel’s slide like a
barber’s razor expertly slicing amphibian
flesh. The formaldehyde cutting was all
a ruse, high school metaphor behind the
magician’s curtain, trick of slicing the girl
in half so that she might remain whole to
practice her art. When her fingers probed
the guts, heart, liver, searching out like
Calchas for the entrail’s text, she was
dissecting the world. No one knew but
- She cut away Anne Frank’s terror,
placed it in a sanitized tray beside Joan
of Arc’s voice, just to the right of
Martha Harrier’s hyper religious charges,
left of Hester’s scarlet A. For Mary Magdalene
she cut out the cross from her heart, cremated
it over a Bunsen burner, fed the ash to
pigeons, fish, that withered away for lack of
nourishment. Too busy with sisters of
long ago, she never made it to the 70s,
Helen Reddy, Gloria Steinem who really
didn’t need a surgeon anyway. Class period
nearly complete, she cast her eye on me,
politely asked if I would like to lie on
Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. He has been published widely in over 50 journals including Agenda, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review and many others. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin’s “Best of” Anthologies, as well as other awards. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014. A book Lost Houses and American Renditions is scheduled for publication in May 2015 by Aldrich Press.