This word has
a terrible memory.
It never forgets
This word lives in Pyrite Valley, Arizona.
It is the father of Richard Nixon and Anna Karenina
and Ernest Hemingway and Daisy Buchanan.
Its teeth are black and blue.
Its soul is made of Spam.
It has the eyes of a Mongolian beekeeper.
Its halitosis will give you a migraine
if you stand next to it for
more than two minutes.
Denied a face at birth, this word
switches masks with Dionysian abandon.
It is often dizzy
with joy, as though Dom Perignon
flowed through its veins.
Then, it wears its hair
in a rainbow.
This word radiates the serenity
of a red rock canyon.
There is such a tremulous grace
to its face.
This word is the color of the law.
Its smile is a known thing.
This word appreciates
the cool treasures of silence.
If you look closely,
you can see the chandeliers hanging
In this word's eyes.
This word heralded the births
of Godzilla, Dracula, and Frankenstein.
It is a skunk and a swan
and somebody's grandmother.
Its face is as ugly as bad luck.
It has the ears of a pachyderm.
Its kisses taste like emphysema.
It loves to suck the brains
out of infants and small children.
This word is
a gray and angry
This word is
alone in its breath.
Its face is rigid and pinched.
Its eyes are two stones
serenading the beautiful dead.
This word bites the ears
like a wounded ghost.
It loves to dance
with cacti and to drink
from burning waters.
© David Kowalczyk
David Kowalczyk lives and writes in Oakfield, New York. He has taught English in Changwon, South Korea, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as well as at several American colleges, including Arizona State. His poetry has appeared in seven anthologies and over one hundred magazines, including California Quarterly, Maryland Review, and St. Ann's Review. He was founding editor of Gentle Strength Quarterly.