After a week of getting nowhere

by June Labyzon

Ignatius Reilly adjusts his World War II pilot hat, cocking it to the side.
The lopsided flaps deem him quite moronic.
Robotically, he wipes his hands on the stained, once white apron
tied haphazardly around his waist.
My eyes are riveted to the blubber flesh protruding from the sides of his apron.
It is surprisingly erotic.

My body quivers, aching to press against this gluttonous mass.
The way I treat my body is not disconnected from the way I treat my soul.

Ignatius leans over the beige and brown hot dog shaped wagon, inhales seductively.
Hungry peddler, he eats more than he sells.
The greasy smelling steam shoots his face enhancing his euphoria.
He swipes at whatever is in the deep silver wells with an over-sized two-pronged fork.
I cannot see his face.
There is a familiarity in his stance, the shape of his body and,
of course, the pilot hat.
He has been a part of me most of my life.
I feel as though I'll stop breathing.
My highs have always been truths.
I attempt withdrawal, but
trip over my own confusion.

Above him a hazy womanish figure, hangs loosely in the air.
She pats her stomach. Her chant breaks my spirit,
"I don't want to be a scrawny super model".
She has infiltrated my mind.
"Do you ever smile?" she spits.
I'm beginning to think I need a therapist.
I would give everything to get away from there.
Who are these people?

Still bent down over the wagon, the vendor hisses:
"Lucky Dog Miss?"
Curiously I inch closer to the cart.
My head bops back and forth.
I know I don't want one.
I've heard these things can kill you.
My hesitation agitates him. The confederate honey dripping, he whispers in my ear:
"no bitching unless you're willing to participate. Have a
taste of what's available, freshly bobbitized this morning."

I spin in escape. We collide at the dead end.
How did he get there so suddenly?
A napkin covered hot dog bun is in his hand. I stare at it.
His face is upon me. I inhale his stagnant breath;
onions, garlic, mustard, pain.
Our eyes connect.
Smiling Surreptitiously, he push the bun into my mouth.
"Eat it, it's mine"

At that moment I don't know what to do.
I don't feel like a part of anything.
Quickly my mind rations plenty of reasons not to leave.
The womanish figure looms toward him,
swoops the meat out of the bun as though it is a worm, and
sweeps away; wings flapping hard and fast.
I didn't even get a little piece of it, plenty hunger days ahead.

He looks past me with longing; exaggerated invisibility.
Wings flare out from under the discolored apron,
and in one quick motion he flutters towards the sky in pursuit.
She is so far ahead of him. Will he ever catch up?
His determination distresses me,
Emphasizing my lack of it.
I muse that most of us go to our graves
with out music still inside of us.

Painted with emptiness I still perceive the presences.
I view myself differently from them, but I can't lose them.
Even when I'm away from them, I'm just like them.
My body is a bundle of cold damp bone chilling chops.
Stirring in a bed of my own design, I acquiesce.
The ability to see the truth has always been my gift.
I will strive to gain the knowledge to keep the see.
Sex is troublesome.


Author's Note: *Ignatias Rielly is a character in the John O’Toole novel, Confederacy of Dunces…he is not an original character of mine. In the novel, of his many jobs, one was that of a Lucky Dog salesman, which is the brand name of the hot dogs in New Orleans sold from a wagon, mostly in the French Quarter. **Bobbitize is a reference to Lorraine Bobbit who hacked off her husband’s penis.

Posted on 11/04/2014
Copyright © 2021 June Labyzon

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 11/25/14 at 03:44 PM

"My body is a bundle of cold damp bone chilling chops." I love every succulent sentence in this, but especially that line.

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