450 Years of Selective Memory (Smile)

Show me that the seeds of your discontent
Have not taken root
Display for me
That sign of eternal,
Internal well-being

Show me the wisdom of my ways
Your soul unfazed by unreasonable demands
Heated irons held to your skin,
Pain and anger held within
With teeth clench of

Show me twenty-eight ways I haven't done wrong
Leap-year me into a season of self-righteousness
With an intoxicating elixir so strong,
Nector of a deaf, dumb, and blind nether-god
Antidote to sodium pentathol and leather wrist straps

Give me some of that ole reassurance
Tell me that it ain't so bad
Sing undisguised work songs to me, white as cotton,
Take me back to
Simple days of rules of order
Proper divisions and simple instructions:

Tote, lift, hump and hew
Soft, humming nights and
Busted mouths oozing red and brown

Show me all thirty-two,
Lift your tongue to show me no hidden razor blades,
Show me your molars hiding no encapsulated cyanide
Show me no incisors sharpened for mortal combat
Let me touch your lips and mouth familiarity,
Bring me closer to you, the way it once was
Peel back your lips and bless me with your easy fortune

Open your mouth

Ken McManus (New York)

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