What It Is To Be Saved 2.0

by Shaun Terry


Slacked jowls,
cue balls where eyes should be,
tight, matted ebony swirls –
thick used motor oil against ivory fresh flesh.

A phantasmic rugby ball squeezed through a coin slot.
Narrow, rounded, pudgy, piggish shoulders,
one after the other,
squeezing, slipping, sliding.
A tiny humanesque body
– squished, crushed –
sucking four thousand tons of oxygen
through a coffee straw
at a pace enough
to cause reverberations of the room.

A wail makes its way from her apple-sized lungs,
and smiles cross giant faces.

You are, for a moment,
the most vulnerable of all creatures.
Your life is in the hands of a few well-versed strangers,
and they give routine smiles and reassurances.
The odds are in your favor
in this case.

But I won’t and can’t let harm come to you.
I’ve been no sort of hero to anyone,
but I will be yours.