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Stupid University Job

Sharon Mesmer
Your loveliest of sway-backs;
of mine I was once ashamed,
and my uni-brow and crooked teeth,
and red hair my mother never let me wash
all winter,
afraid I'd catch a draft.
She wouldn't let me bathe, either,
which made gym class a horror.
I thought I had it bad
until I met that handsome Scottish man
whose parents tried to make him spontaneously combust
by feeding him haggis laced with gunpowder
and making him sleep in the stove.
Instead of an ear, he had a shiny, snail-shaped ridge.
I guess we all have our tragic flaw.
Mine is like that of the naked man
who holds up a sign that says "I'm naked"
and runs screaming through the park.
My handlers say I'm difficult,
but don't you believe it.
My soul still radiates a luminous intensity
despite this stupid university job.

From The Virgin Formica by Sharon Mesmer. Copyright © 2008 by Sharon Mesmer. Used by permission of Hanging Loose Press. All rights reserved.

From The Virgin Formica by Sharon Mesmer. Copyright © 2008 by Sharon Mesmer. Used by permission of Hanging Loose Press. All rights reserved.

Sharon Mesmer