I tell you what—she is a one-woman S.W.A.T. team.
Loves her Winstons and day-time dramas, cold Pepsi powered with hemlock.
Listens to old-school Black Sabbath and Van Halen and a man called Cash.
She tolerates her goddamn neighbor: He raises vultures; birds squeak and squack
like helium balloons. Poop like geese. Still, she likes birds, and they do a hell of a job cleaning up
the corpses, peck-peck-peck, keeps the vermin away, rats
and the two-legged kind. Grandma takes a long drag. Points. Aims. Kaboom. Skull fragments.
Cancer will get her in the end. She knows this. Better that than her undead fellow citizens. Puny,
Smoke fills her lungs. Taste of Heaven. All is good.
Or as good as can be. Next target.
You bitch and moan about the past,
Drama plays in which I was not a participant,
Performances that still haunt and exhaust,
Internal monologues become external dialogues,
Conversation I’d rather not hear and exit the room.
You retreat to the furnished basement, some sanctuary.
The washing machine bears witness to your testimony,
And you act out your dreams starring your dead husbands,
Fucking ghosts you’d rather spend time with than your present spouse.
Husband #1 bought you jewelry, cars, and real estate.
Husband #2 brought you to sexual heights like no other (me included or so you’ve told me repeatedly).
Husband #3 was dead within six months of the I do’s and everything was willed to you,
The grieving widow.
You think I don’t know these things even though you bring them up again and again,
What you don’t know is Husband #4 (me) also seeks refuge in the basement,
The Trinity of Ex-Husbands whisper beware what you eat and drink, especially the mushroom soup.
When I hear their side of the story all I hear is Revenge.
And Darling, Dearest, at this point, I am all ears.
THE HOOD’S TALE
It’s not quite the story you may have heard…
While it’s true Big Bad swallows Grandma but the motivation had nothing
to do with big eyes or big mouth but a different type of hunger.
Grandma was loaded and her beneficiary, her dear granddaughter.
Little Red was never a patient girl.
Wolves aren’t to be trusted but neither are greedy girls.
Brian Rosenberger lives in a cellar in Marietta, Georgia and writes by the light of captured fireflies. He is the author of As the Worm Turns and three poetry collections.