Bonnaroo Burlesque
Swimmer’s Ear

Almost Dying Doesn't Count


Trapping crawdads in the creek out back
the stormwater snagged him, tore off his shorts,
when freed from the branches and runoff debris,
he slogged home to the table unable to eat.

Landing hard on his handlebars,
voices behind a red curtain,
told him to shake it off, while
his seeping spleen urged him to sleep.

Dazed and limping away from the wreck,
front doors locked as he knocked,
can you please call my mom? The cops
scolded him for leaving the scene.

This was before she passed, so when
faces changed to plastic, his heart
like a fish, he said, I can’t go on like this,
it sounded like a teenage phase.

As the sting grew stiff and hot, doctors
swarmed at his bedside for days
marveling at the pus and fuss from
one yellow jacket under the swing.

Clawing his way into a lobby
he slid his wallet to the security guard,
said, call my wife, tell her on a scale
of one to ten this is a ten.


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