The bad little brother of the Aurorean

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[one_half last=”no” class=”” id=””]John Barrale[/one_half]

[one_half last=”yes” class=”” id=””]WINTER 2016[/one_half]

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Dead Toes

Gleeful in their rot, the toes break off
and like ten drunk monks
go their separate ways.

Their huts will crumble,
the roofs and sides falling into ruin,
never to be trimmed again, clipped,
or painted.

The government that regulated such things
is no longer in charge—
the distant King or Queen
has abdicated,
their clicking scissor parliaments
and brass trimmer police
are silent, shut up
and forgotten
in cabinet,
or purse.

Some toenails, the hard-core anarchists,
refuse to die, and flare up
in an after-death revolution.

Defiant, they grow unchecked
for a few more grisly weeks,
their edges curling hideously.

It doesn’t matter—
the motion factory is abandoned,
the foot’s parts on strike,
arch, heel, and instep
siding with the seven sisters
called the Tarsals
and leaving the ankle.

Too late, the folly!
Hell is hot!

The workhorse foot muscles
aren’t there to pull them back
like in better times
when the toes were young
and the water was too cold,
or the sand too hot.

The Buddha Big Toe
warned of this—

We are nothing, an illusion,
ten small ghosts gliding
in a dream of motion


[highlight color=”” rounded=”no” class=”” id=””]John Barrale[/highlight] was born in New York City in 1949 and graduated from Kingsborough Community College and Richmond College (CUNY) in 1972 with a B.A. in English Literature. Since 1978, he’s lived in New Jersey. He is a retired civil servant. He travels frequently, is a Jazz aficionado, and an avid hiker.

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