2 Poems
By John Grey
•   •   •
Such a Gross Little Boy

I coughed up
a phlegm ball
with a little creature
stuck to it.

But for its size
I’d swear it was human.
It cried out,
"Put me back"

as it clutched
at its throat
as if all this unfiltered oxygen
was too rich for its blood.

No problem.
Like any little boy,
I slurped back
that yellow bauble

and saved a life
as I had the varmints
in my earwax
and beasties in my boogers.

I may be gross
but I'm kind––and considerate
to the more vulnerable
occupants of my body.

My mother says, "Filthy boy"
and slaps me on the hand
from time to time.
Thankfully, there's no one living there
The Son Who Is His Own Man

I have his thumb screws
and his rack,
neither of which are of any use to me.
I convince people to accept
my side of the argument
with facts and logic,
not torture.
I don’t choke their hands
until veins pop.
Nor do I stretch their torsos
one scream short of breaking point.
Besides, I don’t even have a dungeon.
Just a cellar
with a washing machine and dryer
but no manacles dangling from the walls.
The thumb screws are buried
at the back of the bathroom closet.
The rack is in pieces
in the garage.
The old man can't even live
on in my habits.
I don't drink or smoke.
Nor do I hunt cats with a scythe.
I read the Bible.
He was buried with the burn scars
from the last time he touched one.
Those in the know always say,
I look just like my mother.
So not even my mouth
is a repose for his features.
Nor these eyes which a totally different hue.
And if my nose accommodates
the female side of the family,
there's not a nostril left
for sniffing out fear in a victim.
I have thumb screws
that screw no thumbs tight.
a rack that couldn’t even
unkink a muscle.
From bathroom closet to garage,
what he was can’t catch a break.
Now, his legacy is just the backyard graves.
And I haven’t dug his family up in years.
•   •   •
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Leading Edge, Poetry Salzburg Review and Illumen. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in The Fifth Di, Space and Time and Holy Flea. Has won a Rhysling award for genre poetry.

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