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Paranoias Can Be So Boring by Garnet Cowsill
published in Volume 5, Issue 3 on September 1st, 1998

I dreamed
you threw me an elegant, surprise dinner party.
Yet, a delicate guilt
necklaced your head
with the weight of a jungle vine.

Your dark eyes
were smoky and decadent.
But your meal
was simply sublime:
salty, spiced bisques
plus three racks of roast lamb
served with jug after jug
of red wine.

And I was so proud of you. 

Until a man spoke
looking every rib
the emaciated rabbi
of my poor, dead father.
His words were
splintering
-- almost wooden,
"Jesus H. Christ, look at that! 
Someone's put blood in his pudding."

It was true. 
I dragged my eyes
from your pagan mouth
to the silvery-rimmed servings
you'd set, three times ten before me,
amid glorious crucifixions,
candles and goblets,
so your guests' benedictions
wouldn't bore me.
And I saw: 
(He was quite right.
The Old Man's eye for detail
sparked until it was blazing.)
Even though it looked absolutely edible,
tarring
droplets
of blood
sprinkled your pudding, like raisin.
Well, of course,
news of your purgative spread quickly,
sickening those still feasting.
The devout
backed up and bowed out,
to eat deli
on olive-mount heights.

Since then
my dreams have become rather kosher,
so I've taken a vow
to go sleeplessly celibate most nights.

This morning
I genuflected,
showered and shaved.
Then,
affecting a carpenter-like scrawl
to properly sculpt
my chiseling piety
in hopes
you'd still be saved,
I soaped this message
across our bathroom mirror:
When you think I'm sleeping
I'm really pretending,
so quit doing those things that you shouldn't.
Stop scoring me, boring me,
pumping and draining.
Stop
mining my blood
for your pudding.

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