his slovenly mouth touched a bell jar like a
crocus nudging the early spring dirt and
i've decided that peeling fingers is easy but a
skull like a styrofoam dome
is harder to ring than bells without pendulums.
my skin withers like an ill-fated house plant---
everyone wants sea shells for ears with
the lullaby of oceans murmuring there---his
limbs were merely buttoned on, detachable,
replaceable, and he waited in the dark of his box
to spring out, wound up, and knowing nothing
better than to grin, and look evil---snakes
can't expose themselves because
they shed themselves in layers.