There Shall Be Xylophones

Your nose bleeds. Your gums bleed. Your teeth wiggle and jiggle and jangle. Your teeth implode and become seedlings. You plant them in the backyard. These tooth seedlings grow into skeletons. You hit their ribcages with small mallets, hoping to produce a xylophone effect. Instead, the ribs shatter. You grind up the shards and snort them. Your nose bleeds again. Your eyes bleed. Your blood bleeds. Your bloody bleeding blood congeals into a golem-like creature. This bloody bleeding blood golem towers over you and points a drippy finger. The creature’s mouth opens, and it shrieks and says Look what you have done, and you inspect the wounded skeletons with their broken chest cavities. You know you do not have the capacity to repair them. You place your fingers on your flesh and feel your sternum and promise a ribcage that you cannot deliver. You tell these skeletons it will be okay, just like the doctor, just like the nurse, just like your rabbi, just like yourself. You tell them what they want and need and beg of you. The golem is satisfied and becomes a scabbed statute. You take your small mallets and beat a lively tune until there is nothing left but music.



James R. Gapinski is the author of Edge of the Known Bus Line (Etchings Press) and Messiah Tortoise (Red Bird Chapbooks). His work has appeared in The CollapsarJukedMonkeybicyclePaper DartsPsychopomp, and other publications. Find him online at and on Twitter @jamesrgapinski

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