B. Z. Niditch


The boy near the mirror takes the white pills but has no luck and his mother prays to the Virgin but decides to pray to the mirror and his father drinks and beats the boy who takes the pills but has no luck and his mother's prayers do not work for hte daughter who cannot work or marry or find love but who watches by the window her brother at the mirror where the father drinks and the boy pops the green pills but they do not work either and sister cannot decide whether to live or die and the father accosts the mirror and the Virgin appears to the mother who cripples the daughter for not staying like the Virgin and the boy murders the pills but they do not kill him.


You blush at every memory when you came out on the body next to you drunk, with your platinum crown hanging over you from the night after Easter you too were crucified from your own flesh panting for love to be recognized lusting after what moved generations before you fame, money, power all the intended dreams that depressed you here in the life with the EMT admiring your flashy ways still outside that schoolyard looking for guidance bloodied from a fight your fisticuffs ready to take on God.


After the wrestling match they found the boy alone and incoherent the promoters promised him something besides a check if he dropped the fight but his streaked lines on a handsome frame dying of thirst barely moving or making a sound trying to keep balance looking in vain for a referee now feeling like a hustler without a client as crowds peter outside the arena always alone even here looking with an innocence only the paralyzed may know smelling of sawdust wishing for a mirror to look at the glittering mouth without a hat troubled with breathing but the crowds have gone back to clean white linen sheets.

© 1997 B. Z. Niditch