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Thursday, September 05, 2019


by Lois Marie Harrod

Image source: Getty Images via Vice.

In high school, the usual which pleased the boys, and in college
the predictable, goldfish and frogs with beer,
and, on a whim or a dare and after a little practice,
swords. Before graduating she became the star of her sorority
when she ate 69 hot dogs in ten minutes. Later,
she swallowed the diamond ring her fiancé put in a Softee—
seems he thought it would be an unusual way to ask for her hand and her throat,
and once she had that kid in diapers, safety pins open and shut.
The day she turned forty-five, she downed the restaurant spoons and forks,
and most recently she feasted on the more than ten thousand lies
told by the President which wasn’t as bad as it sounds
because by then lots of other people were swallowing oddities too—
concrete walls and steel barriers, the Golan Heights, Bears Ears,
Greenland with all its ICE and those nice White Supremacists—

which brought on a national epidemic of distressed intestines
and shut down nearly every hospital and nursing home in the country—
there no longer being medical insurance to cover belly aches,
or for that matter, any poorly paid immigrants to fill the health-care jobs—
unless, of course, you were very rich and had had practice in swallowing it all whole.

Lois Marie Harrod’s 17th collection Woman is forthcoming from Blue Lyra in December 2019. Her Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks; her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016; Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. A Dodge poet, she is published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches at the Evergreen Forum in Princeton and at The College of New Jersey.