The Mind is Not a Skull Defect as First Reported
—a poem by J. Alan Nelson

Stripped stark by the sale of his soul,
this horrible love of a sugar beauty cripples,

hollows his gut,
plants dragon’s teeth in his mind.

His questions writhe unanswered.
She works her scrapbooks,

preserves memories of her childhood
for imagined posterity

while scars engrave his confused mind.
Attracted to orderly, clean places

she generates a pile of disorder.
She declines his offer of games,

his request for dates.
She plays computer solitaire

as she listens to audio books of Harry Potter.
If she asks him to pick up box

of macaroni and cheese
on the way home from work,

she will brood for days if he forgets.
Doddered and shattered,

he journeys to the coast.
The green ocean turns red

as he bathes his hands.
He roams a harsh land,

while his love is a beautiful princess
who feels the pea

under stacks of mattresses
though centuries pass.

J. Alan Nelson is a writer and a lawyer.  He has essays, stories, epistles and poetry published or forthcoming in the following: Convergence, International Poetry Review, California Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, Adirondack Review, Red Cedar Review, Identity Theory, Hawai’i Review, Kennesaw Review, Driftwood Review, Ken*Again, Haggard and Halloo, Review Americana, South Carolina Review, Pegasus Review, Red Cedar Review, Fulcrum, Connecticut River Review, Blue Fifth Review, Chiron Review, SNReview, American Scholar and Ship of Fools.