A Poem by Dean Young

by Lee Rossi

The reason why redheads, even the girls,
go bald is that they’re missing a gene,
or is it a chromosome? Whenever a girl
smiles at me, I see a row of pearly white
tombstones. I prefer the stones at odd angles.
I like my graveyards lived in.
Have you ever seen a line of earrings
dangling from some girl’s ear like straps
in a subway car? And haven’t you wanted
to grab one, and hold on, just as the car
tipped full speed round the next curve?
Whenever cracks appear in the blast furnace
of my self-esteem, I know it’s time for a new wife,
the ultimate insulating material.
If Dean Young looks real hard, he can see
the carbon atoms in his girlfriend’s nose
as they formed under enormous pressure
in stars that exploded six billion years ago.
He always has a Kleenex handy.
Listen up, graduate assistants,
there’s a dissertation waiting here.
Every couple of weeks Dean’s
young friend jabs a needle in her arm,
flooding her Great Lakes with poison.
The shrubbery of Versailles
was Louis XVI’s greatest poetry.
Queen Marie’s slippers were galleons
of love, easily tipped in squalls of passion.
Whenever I take an RPG round
to the M-1 Abrams tank of my self-regard,
and the air’s abuzz with microscopic particles
of radioactive doubt, I know I need to punch
a hole in some attractive woman’s reserve.
Given my limited shelf life I grow
nervous at the approach of my pull date.
Nothing clears the air like 150 mm shells
packed with humor and charm.

Published on July 23, 2011