(not quite) a literary journal


Repair and Dead Pigeons, by Mitchell Grabois


I’m going to have myself sedated
for days if necessary
I’m going to have my gums relined
like brakes

I’m going to have my roots
like thick fiber-optic cables
sunk in new canals

I’m going to have all my teeth removed
and replaced with new ones
shiny, square and Nordic 

Then my dentist
who is also my lover
will take me back

I will resume residence
in our deluxe apartment 
in the sky
with the immaculate carpets
and the gleaming stainless appliances

Our love will be renewed
and we shall stand 
holding hands
at the rail of our balcony

Dead Pigeons

Her opponent punches her in the face
She’s never going to make the Olympics this way
She’s never going to get out of south central L.A.
She thinks of Mike Tyson as a child 
with his bag full of pigeons

The big boys caught him 
pulled them out of the bag and snapped their necks
one by one
They were all he had

She takes another blow to the head 
She thinks of her father’s abuse
her mother’s alcoholism

Neither was as bad as those pigeons
being killed one by one in front of him
after he had raised them so lovingly
stroked their glowing silver-blue feathers
fed them from his hand

He punched that big boy 
knocked him down
No one was ever going to molest his pigeons again

She finds herself on the canvas
birds flying above her
How did birds get into the gym?

She thinks she might knit something
a sweater for her pregnant sister
cold all the time
She’s cold too

feels the cold start in her knees and 
come into her head
Her head is filled with crushed ice
like out of a slurpee machine

She’s never going to get to the Olympics
never get out of south central L.A.
not going to save the dead pigeons
or avenge them

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Mitchell Grabois lives in Denver, Colorado. His poetry and fiction has been published in literary journals across the world. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle, Nook, and in print.