9/3/13

Raspberry Hives
By Donal Mahoney


The ancient man
with raspberry hives
on his cheeks
since childhood
will live alone
no longer.
He’ll marry, he says,
the first woman who’ll have him.
Till now
he has wanted
to die
as he’s lived,
alone in his room
with the radio playing,
the water in the bathtub
dripping.
The drone of hours,
however, has become
the drone of years
and the ancient man
with raspberry hives
on his cheeks
since childhood
fears death will convert
his hives into pocks,
take his body
but reject his soul.
For reasons
he can’t articulate,
he believes
if he weds
the first woman
who’ll have him,
death will have reason,
for the first time,
to do the job right.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


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