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  • Jimmy Broccoli

You Might Not Like What You See

The woman’s dead body lies on the hot mid-July asphalt –

Her body lies unmoving –

An immediate after-shock of a car accident –

an unfortunate place to be standing when two vehicles collide -

it (the dead body) sighs –

it sighs because it does not want to be dead

I do not look into her eyes –

because I do not wish to view my own inevitable future –

I might not like what I see…

the spilled blood matches the color of the blacktop –

it was never red – and blood is red – real blood is red -

And her limbs are lifeless –

more defeated marionette or ragdoll, than human… -

it is easier to think of her as a doll –

Dolls are not dead – they are just not alive

My friend, one of the drivers, is hysterical –

He bathes the nearby sidewalk with urgent and violent tears –

– our vehicle – an accordion, disturbingly contorted and injured –

surrounded by a symphony of shattered glass and detached and scattered fragments of plastic –

The pain in my chest is minor (so I pay it no mind, for now)

– I can walk without assistance –

I was the passenger – and airbags taste like condoms covered in baby powder

Sometimes life moves like a photograph – it doesn’t move –

Time stops – even if for only a moment –

And sometimes life moves in slow motion –

events revealing themselves, hesitantly –

as if Time, itself, understands when a pause or a slowing down is necessary -

I sigh because I need Time to reverse itself –

and it won’t do that – no matter how much I beg –

I need all of this not to be real

[I watch my friend fall apart –

like jigsaw pieces detaching from the whole,

thrown furiously onto concrete -

I watch my friend fall apart,

and do not know how to put him back together]


August is a beautiful month for a wedding –

the accident is 24 days in our rearview…

the dogwood trees are blooming brilliantly –

while the tethered lily-white helium balloons reach lovingly into the unblemished sky -

my friend and I are in the city park –

he is getting married, and I am his best man

[Everyone is smiling]

My friend promises to love and to cherish from this day forward –

for eternity – or until they both shall part –

and they do part – 4 short years later –

a face grey – a body dead – in our apartment –

As I sit with the unmoving body,

I stare into the no longer expressive eyes - and do not like what I see –

My friend is hysterical – his tears urgent and violent…

His heart is shattered glass

Time begins to march forward in slow motion (once again) -

as I sit on our couch, barely moving, smoking a cigarette –

I am defeated – more a lifeless puppet than human

waiting for the ambulance to arrive…

History repeats itself – history repeats itself –

with only slight variations – with only the minor details changing

I sigh because I’m beginning to want no more of this life…

Do not look into my eyes – you might not like what you see

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli with Cheerio, the Anxiety Rabbit.

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