The Commemoration of St. Malachy falls on November 3,

so as not to conflict with the feast of All Souls.

A prophet, Malachy extirpated barbarism from the Church.


St. Malachy was named Abbot of Bangor in 1123.

“That’s Ban-gor, not Banger, like banging someone,”

my mother said as we drank Guinness in Groomsport.


My grandmother’s ashes float there on Belfast Lough,

halfway between Bangor and Donaghadee.

In Groomsport she was married. In Detroit she died.


Restless and moody, she fell to Alzheimer’s.

In between the plaques and tangles, she remembered

that the minister in Groomsport had a unibrow.


The same minister baptized my own mother, though

she cannot confirm that he did, in fact, possess a unibrow.

A unibrow most closely resembles the silhouette of a seagull.


“A bird does not fly on one wing,” my aunt was saying

when a seagull snatched a french fry from her cone-shaped cup.

She had triplets by in vitro at the age of forty-eight.


One might contest my aunt’s position in the Museum of Natural History:

laid out in cladograms (not entirely secular), the museum positions

the sea cow superior to man in terms of evolutionary derivation.


I sit on the floor and copy notes about monotremes.

I want to be an echid– my musings interrupted

by an autistic boy groaning in the nearby atrium.


A solitary animal, the echidna eats ants, termites, and earthworms.

Upon attack, it quickly burrows into the ground or curls into a ball.

Its only living monotremal relative is the duck-billed platypus.


The boy quacks, and quacks, and quacks at the display.

When he tries to put a nematode from the floor in his mouth,

his mother grabs him. Quack. Quack. Quack.


An echidna can live up to 50 years in captivity, I read.

The mother reaches for him. He falls to the floor and curls.

If he were a glyptodont, he would not be able to roll into a ball.


The glyptodont has a shell composed of thick bony rosettes.

They are fused and look like my grandmother’s old linoleum floor.

If edentates’ peglike teeth were likewise fused, their mouths would look like stockades.


If I had a prehensile tail, I would use it to aid in the climbing of such fences.

If I were a marsupial, I would not carry a monogrammed canvas bag.

If I had a duckbill, I would write a book called “Duckbill Lifestyles.”


The word “quack” would not be used.

The word “crack” would not be used.

The word “attack” would not be used.


The boy approaches me and bites my neck as I read about Ceratosaurs.

A group of them was found at Ghost Ranch, NM.

The mass grave suggests death by flash flood.


Ceratosaurs were cannibals.

Edmontonia rugosidens were not.

They lived 75 million years ago and looked like Bowser.


The music in Bowser’s always scared me.

We sat safe in my brother’s room: I’d choose flight; my brother – fight.

I watch the boy dodge the grasping hands of men in blue.


We kept our hamster cage in my brother’s bedroom.

His was Black Bart. Mine was Annie Oakley.

We woke up one day to find Bart eating Annie.


He ate until he was full.

We put her in a box.

We buried her in the backyard.


We did not line the box with velvet, or satin, or even newspaper.

A hamster’s cage is not lined with hops,

but with something that bears a striking resemblance to it.


The female hop-plant bears green cones

that consist of broad scales layered

in the manner of gills, or feathers, or thatch.


At the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, I recall that

my grandmother drank one pint of Guinness a day.

Her downfall: “A bird does not fly on one wing alone.”


The hippocampus is a horse that cannot fly.

The hippocampus is a fish that cannot trot.

The hippocampus is not a pachydermatous quadruped.


“Marijuana use can hinder people from experiencing life.”

“THC affects the hippocampus in a most negative fashion.”

Hops and pot are related, though they are not anagrammatic.


The eyes, they see. Desperation – a rope ends it.

Animosity is no amity. Extirpated – I raped text. Funeral? Fun.

Silent. Listen: in created, man does not find deracinate.

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