portion of the artwork for Jari Thymian's poetry

Not Dead Enough
Jari Thymian

You—a hair shirt without apology, a necklace
that makes skin break out in rash, your piece
of mind given like bleach to remove personality
stains. Scrape pumpkin pie filling off the crust,
tell your young grandchildren to clean your kitchen.

Rap your cup on the table, Coffee. Now! Phone
married daughters at five in the morning, ring
the doorbell after midnight and expect a guest bed.
Write bad checks to bounce between towns. Happiest
with a gun in your hands shooting gophers or verbally

slicing a college Democrat until he cries as if
chopping onions. Even happier flinging a Hardee’s
breakfast sandwich back at the minimum-wage server
The damn bacon isn’t crisp enough. Do it over. Make
suicide threats on the phone, then grin when sons

arrive. Now I have your attention, punch line to a joke.
Dead now—our pancreas wasn’t kidding. Omit a daughter’s
name in your will, another riddle? From the grave, unpaid
loans you swindled from friends we children must pay.
Kin stays in skin no matter how much I scratch.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 31 | Winter 2011