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Lanette Cadle

Hold That Fly

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If Cerebus wasn't the guard dog of hell, he'd be a bagger
in necktie and jeans, doomed to spend hours
chanting paper or plastic to a steady stream of saints
who live sustainable and keep the cotton market high,
picking up a few items before moving on upstairs.
Or maybe he'd price check in hell, How much for one
load of regret—no, the long-term size. Do we have any
mercy? The two-ply six roll? How much for mercy?

That one would always be out, along with compassion,
because, after all, it's hell, but really, the saints don't
actually cross the river Styx and all they need is the travel size.
No, these post-Jesus times must be hard on hell. It's enough
to make even a three-headed mythological dog depressed—
always seeing every side of the story, even the flies before
there's ointment, his serrated teeth gently holding a swatter.

Could Be, Could Be

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Let's tell our stories and tell them well.
Here's one about a woman (not me)
who was always married, just not

to the same man. Her surprise when
marriage failed was total, every single time.
Galileo faced with floating bricks

couldn't have been more astounded.
He wasn't at work when he said he was?
How could he lie? His girlfriend's pregnant?

How can that be? Well, you get the drift.
She was dumbfounded until the next perfect man
turned up, and somehow he was on the spot

in two weeks, tops. My cynicism is showing
and it's not that attractive. Sorry.
Here's another story about a woman who

kept a spotless house. Her children either
never spilled food or she kept the laundry going
every single day. I wouldn't know. I couldn't hear

over the daily vacuuming or see though the glare
of too many shiny objects on mirrored shelves.
I'd like to say her desire to live on a 1950s stage set

led to tragedy, but no. It did not. No arrests,
no bickering, no TV set thrown through the window.
There were other things that never happened, like

days when she pitched the routine and read something
besides her devotional, but she tried not to think
of the possible and let the impossible possess her.

It could be, could be. Time expands to fit all wounds
and blood dries in even flakes. No one is at the door today
and white carpet goes well with everything, simply everything.

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