portion of the artwork for Roy White's poem

Hello Kid Me
Roy White

At first I think he’s just another drunk
on the Gulf Drive tourist trolley,
the man who shouted “I’m eatin’ cheese!”
But his people don’t seem plastered
or embarrassed. You
would have stared, and Mother would stage-whisper
“He’s not all there,” cuing a memory
that haunted you like a jingle
for douche or denture glue:

Roaming the tatty wonderland
of the Goodwill store, you spot
a broken mannequin, arm
gone at the elbow. Drawn
by the mystery of what’s inside,
you reach up toward the stump.
At your fingers’ first springy touch,
the head turns toward you. You vanish
before the man can speak.

Or Mother’s phrase would set the cart
of your imagination rolling
downhill: if this man waiting
to buy day-old rolls at the bakery
is not all here, where is the rest
of him? Is a wraith-like fraction already
riding the bus home? Does a doll-sized version
walk some alien shore littered with dunes
of discarded legs and kidneys?

And if you saw me now, white cane
in hand, my eyesight gone away, you might
picture it riding piggy-back on someone else’s life,
watching his favorite baseball team, or trapped
in the universal basement, where every night
the heaps of used-up escalator steps
grow and grow.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 49 | Spring/Summer 2017