by Brian Clifton
They would grow lighter on the sealed concrete
of the boy’s locker room until a mouse nose burst
through and smelled moist-mold for the first time.
I would dedicate all my life to storing these Kalamata
olives in my mouth. I would be their living incubator.
My friends and family would exclaim that I radiated.
They would want to fuck me just to feel my insides
rattle and jerk like nine mechanical hands in a bathtub
full of water. And after months of anticipation,
they would begin to hope that I would be normal,
old me again. If I could open my mouth, I would
say that I belonged to the mice and their Kalamata
olive eggs. It is my calling. New fantasies would sprout
from their eyes: to force me to eat tilapia until I vomited,
to lock me in a room until I could turn a feather
into a penny, to shove me against the wall and make
me recant all my humanitarian ideals. I would not stop.
I would be the Jane Goodall of the mouse world.
I would plop every Kalamata olive mouse egg in the world
on my tongue. I would do this for all of them.
I would love them with my tongue, teeth, and gums.