local_library Sticky-Shed Syndrome

by David Peak

Published in Issue No. 152 ~ January, 2010

Sticky-Shed Syndrome

On the television screen

I am watching a homemade movie.

I see a child and I know

that that child is me and I know

that the video camera is in

the hands of my father.

The video shows me

carving my name in wet cement

with a single finger.

Over time, a magnetic tape

will disintegrate–

the image will lose resolution

and the colors will fade,

a forgotten breath.

The image–in real-time

–is of a slab of concrete:

it will crack and split into smaller pieces,

a powder, a dust to be swept away.

My directions are as follows:

zoom in on the ground below,

and you will find an endless hole

where once there was none.

Shared Screens

I see myself on a table,

lying flat.

My father stands over me,

hacksaw in hand.

This won’t hurt a bit.

He cuts me open,

down the middle,

bone-saw hissing.

My chest cracks,

folding outward–red with meat,

purple lungs shining

in the light.

He reaches inside,

rearranging my guts.

There, beneath my heart,

barely hiding: a flickering screen

atop a separate, flickering screen.

One screen shows my face as it is today,

as I see it in mirrors, while

another screen–the other screen

–shows time-lapse footage:

soft-skull to puffy flesh to white bone–

the entire life of my face–

[and for just one second]

the two images overlap, my now-face

and its skull beneath, but on top,

the visible invisible, hollow holes

drowning the color of my eyes.

No, this won’t hurt a bit, he [my father] says.

Just close your eyes. And pretty soon it will all be over.

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David Peak is the author of a novel, The Rocket's Red Glare (Leucrota Press), a book of poems, Surface Tension (BlazeVOX Books), and a chapbook, Museum of Fucked (Warm Milk Press). He lives in New York City.