Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Humane Society

Someone abandoned two bunnies in the park
Big dogs all over, noses to the ground
I scrambled
a rescue attempt
broke my ankle
Incredible pain

Nothing ever happens the way I plan
A family completed the effort
a single mother and twin boys in striped polo shirts
When they grinned, they revealed rotten teeth like in a horror movie
My ankle shrieked and I passed out

They ate them, someone told me
a few days later
as he signed my cast


Motorized Chair

I remember the time Bill was working
as a cook on a fishing boat
outside Houma, Lousiana
and when he came home to the Florida panhandle
after a three-week stint
he brought back fifty pounds of gulf shrimp
and fifty pounds of crawdads

I drove three kegs of tailgate beer
into his backyard and
we partied

A bonfire burned
three men whaled on guitar and banjo
women took off their blouses
Southerners unleashed

Bill got so drunk he wheeled around the yard
laughing grabbing onto friends to keep himself
from toppling onto the dirt
Man, my head is spinning!

He was a big smoker
his face lit orange in the dark

Not long after that party
he was diagnosed with a brain tumor
I told you I’d never get lung cancer, he said

Medical care wasn’t what it is today
They put him in a motorized chair
and spun him around at forty miles per
How is this supposed to help? I asked his wife
as we stood behind one-way glass

After what seemed a long time
the chair finally slowed
By that time I was nauseous
I put my hand on Bill’s wife’s shoulder
to steady myself

The blur became less blurry
resolved back into Bill
finally came to a stop

Bill looked out into the void
An attendant released his arms and hands
Bill reached up
rubbed his eyes and grinned
Man, my head is spinning!


Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over six hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available. He lives in Denver.

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