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Poetry #36
(published April 19, 2001)
Fire Escape
by Daphna El-Roy

I haven't washed
my hand since Tuesday.

Last time
you heard THAT line
was when a boy had kissed it
this time I have a splint
(not as in a broken heart or anything - I really did break my finger)

I didn't know the ladder
would go straightdown
thought I'd climb

But nobody was there
Now let me get this straight
you couldn't find your keys
Instead you locked the door
inside and
broke your finger
outside and
How the hell'dya do that?!

You saw the little weights
that made the ladder drop
and thought it must be fastened down,
you trapeze artist masochistic suicidal clown

You don't play with fire unless you've got insurance
and you don't break your finger if you ain't got the endurance

And don't you always wonder
Mona Lisa's fingers chubby and limp?
now I know
how in real life they got that way
but mine are blue.

(And by the way
they cut my ring.
and now I know
what gold dust means)

It's the ode to the
Figure on a beachchair
of metal and from
head rest
wrap around
straight jacket
because no finger
is like you:
bloated broken and blue
but when you'll look like the others again we'll let you

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