Avocado Scratch-And-Sniff Poem

Shane Jones


I am headed to the bathroom.
A fat man holding a newspaper
is walking behind me.
He jumps on my back and hitches a ride.
Inside the bathroom are quail and you fanning a campfire.
Go ahead and create a field scattered with anxious tigers.
You tell me later it was a mean thing to do
but I took such pleasure
in throwing the fat man's newspaper in the campfire.
If you stand at the sinks there's a warm breeze
blowing either from the mirror or my hair.


I wish this poem was avocado scratch-and-sniff.
Outside my window is an ambulance.
The driver points at me each night I look out the window.
He keeps the lights flashing all night
before speeding off at daybreak.
I walk on the sidewalk
and a car drives up and follows me to the field.
A tire slips my shoe off.
Today we build a stream through the field
to stop the tearing of quail throats.
You are still responsible for the campfire.
I go and find a fat man in need of a bathroom
and steal his newspaper.


There's a moon on the ceiling.
Push it over to the side a little so it can get some air-conditioning.
How much white is too much white?
You put wet leaves in the campfire tonight.
I give you a tiger tattoo on your shoulder.
Give me a quail tattoo on my neck.
I wish this poem was something edible and fancy.
Like quail eggs.
Take my hand and walk me through the field
and show me a way to live without automatic everything.
Yellow sparrows have made a nest in a urinal.
I knit a sweater for the moon.
I fall asleep and hear waterfalls and ambulance sirens.


You say you want a jungle, not a field.
I desire wide open empty spaces.
The stream isn't a stream but a divider.
On one side we make a jungle where you live
and the other side stays a field where I live.
I should have never put in this stream.
After you go the bathroom you push this button
the stream flushes and turns a clearer blue.
I wonder how the stream feels about this.
I see your campfire late at night and yell for you.
The stream is turning into a lake
and the ambulance drowns one night.
Can you see my campfire?
It's not a campfire but a birthday cake
being raised high by a shirtless fat man.

Shane Jones is the author of LIGHT BOXES (PGP 2009) and THE FAILURE SIX (Fugue State 2010). He blogs at shaneejones.blogspot.com.