YOU'RE AN ODD DUCK by Michael J Pagan

The sciences only drink from
foam cups, and hide underneath
water from God; his woman
lips: Don’t make the same mistakes
your father made; a Southerner with
his bum-steer sense
of honor:

                        Why’s my name always upside-down
                        on all my magazine subscriptions? He asked

They say God is a southern

Now, I don’t know
is there still
a problem with the word
                        My feeling is, this cough’s gonna be the death of me

in a bathtub overfilled
and plugged with soiled yuck
from what appears to be
dead bodies because

sound carries over
the water as they giggle
at their own monologues,
as God, needing to feel colossal,
renames himself Marvelous; with
ALASKA in great big, bold
letters across the front
of his sweater

my open-sesame, I ask him: “Why didn’t you just write SWAG, then?”

His response: Because, how illiterate does one have to be
                        to misread an arrow?


as he snaps photograph after photograph
of bridges, and nicknames his bridge
collection: The Interactive Map of Shame

And I can already see the repetitions
beginning: he’d come for stories,
with a big bag full
of bad habits

our relationship had unstable
chemical properties:

            A man called Home, and yet
            didn’t give us his name

                                                            How awfully sweet of you

Michael J Pagan is a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University's Creative Writing MFA program. His work has appeared in Bridle Path Press, The Rumpus, The Northville Review, DIAGRAM, and is forthcoming in the Eunoia Review, and Prompt Literary Magazine.