Driver’s Side Airbag #43
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The pig’s foot

I noticed the vat way down the counter
while Tammy wrapped the chicken.

"What are those?"
"Pig’s feet."
"Have you had one?"
"Sean has."
"Sean, are they healthy?"
"Not at all."
"Do you have to cook ‘em?"
"No, they’ve already been boiled."
I told Tammy I wanted one.
Her tongs searched the vat
far too carefully
for the prize.
I took my pig’s foot home.
Opened the bag over the sink.
Oh boy!
The underside of the foot was blue tendon
and slimy white bone.
I bit the edge of the foot,
a small piece.
Rubbery. Inedible.
I turned the foot over.
It was a pig’s severed foot, the texture
of the skin much like human skin.
I felt sad.
Pig’s feet were eaten when there was nothing else to eat.
Severing and selling them seemed cruel and arrogant
in 2001, when people were supposed to be
docking with silver donuts
in space.
I threw the pig’s foot away
and resumed pickling the heads
of the whores I’ve killed.

Ben La Rosa


"I’m going to fucken
rip your cheeks apart
if you say another word...
you stupid shit!
This is the last time
I’m warning your skinny ass!"
She growls, flinging hair
before shooting
a whiskey down.

Rick puffs on a Camel
as he rubs without taking pause,
cleaning off the glasses behind the bar;
It pays the rent and that’s about it.

The young man with sideburns
bows his head as if he were a little boy
who had just wet himself,
then stands up
and shuffles pathetically
off toward the bathroom.

"I don’t understand
why you have to be so
hard to Harold,
he only wishes to love you,
and that’s the most beautiful thing in the world."

"Larry, he’s 28 years old
and needs to learn to be a man!
The son of a bitch is a little mamma’s boy!
Besides, he has no respect for my work
as manager of the bagel shop!
You heard him interrupt me with his
when I was explaining to you
important new policies!"

Folding his hands
gently in front of him,
Larry no longer
lazily scratches his gray beard,
and after breathing in deep
he gradually exhales,
just as they taught him
in yoga/feng shui class,
then dramatically pauses
before softly speaking
the ancient wisdoms
of a man who just turned 50.

"Ommm...sometimes the heart..."

"Rick...Rick! Who’s he?"

She burst aloud
with smoke-filled screams
while pointing over
at a tall young man
with chiseled cheeks,
checking himself out in the mirror
while femininely stroking
his thick black hair
and leaning his lankiness
daintily across the end of the bar.

Rick continues
to rub the glasses
clean of their spots,
then gradually looks over
and tiredly tells her
in a graveled old voice,

"That’s Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll."

"Hey... Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll,
I’m Trinity!"

She hollers with an arrogance
familiar to this indifferent face
still stuck in the mirror,
then gets up straightening
her pink sweater,
gliding that slank
past the empty bar stools,
leaving Larry
to his chocolate cake Zen
and ever so slightly sipped
glass of Guinness.

Kent Kruse

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