“DO NOT DISTURB.”

The fishbone dried on the sidewalk.
Just like the solitary wing of the crow
beside the worm
snuggled in the toad.
They all dried there on the sidewalk.
I bent down;
Ground my knees
so I might poke the still life
with a twig and pinecone.
But nothing moved
so I kicked at it with my shoe.
Nothing moved.
Everything was stuck in place;
Upon closer observation;
Super glue;
A shiny yellowing grout.
And frozen in there
were nine little ants
marching out guts of the worm
snuggled in the toad,
laid beside the solitary wing of the crow.
And there it was,
printed on a matchbook.
“ARTIST AT WORK
DO NOT DISTURB
OR RISK BECOMING
A PERMANENT PART
OF MY ART.”
I swung my head to the left—
but from my right came the blow.
By the time I awoke,
my tongue was pulled from my mouth,
snarled on the fishbone.
I could not move or make any sound,
so I remained there drying beneath the sun and the sky,
taking in the wafting fumes of wet superglue.
I thought for a while— for the rest of my life—
considering the artist
as an act of God
by the intervention of all man-kind.

narrative poem written on 06-02-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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