That guy is my mom.
The nipple is officially an orifice.
Or a fistula it would be.
It's natural. When a bird
kidnaps a bee there's a civil
war, the berserkers on
the front line accounting
for most of the buzzing and flapping
though now we are more
officially talking about bears.
Some people think the bears do
this just to get off, that
it's nothing like a war
between, say, rival t-cells, which has
the albeit exaggerated logic of micro-
biology behind it.
He's tell 'em by their spinal tap.
My mom I mean. tap tap tap
like a visitor or a salesman. What's
he trying to sell? Nipple make-up?
A home fistula repair kit?
Is that legal or natural seems
a useful distinction. Then there's the matter
of "natural law", which is to say,
he used to tell me, all law
's nurtural, and the rest was deciding
whether he'd meant natural: whether
that funny accent he was born
with had slurred it. When he speaks
he spits a mud gray sleet. The most common
slur for this is slut, from
the Norwegian, slutr, meaning
"sleet." The Middle English fear of impurity.
A slush fund is dirty money. Promiscuity,
from the French, meaning pro-mixing.
Feeling all mixed-up. Nobody
likes to hear their mom
called a slut or some variation,
the principle behind most "your mom"
jokes, his or her poverty being
another soft spot, obesity a
third, slug, also from the Norwegian,
a slow, heavy person, sits around
the couch, spreads out, etc.
Spreading, the metaphor of contagion,
thank God them things are nipples, they
say, cause if them's was fistula-discs
we'd all be paying the piper.
When war begins my mom generally
enlists, leaves the states. The headlines
tend toward, Civilians Get Fidgety Fistula Fantasies,
and he reads the writing on the wall,
throws on an old berserker and goes.
The scratch of bear-hair makes his
nipples feel official. And his new husband
cooing, don't worry, there's a war on.