About the Writer
Suzanne Parker is a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award from Alice James Books. Her book Viral is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Hunger Mountain, Drunken Boat, and numerous other journals. She is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars. Suzanne’s creative non-fiction is published in the travel anthology Something to Declare. Suzanne is the managing editor at MEAD: A Magazine of Literature and Libations.
They do not make iced coffee here
and Fox News is bolted to the ceiling,
cranky as an old crow.
Coffee—hot—is $.75 for a small
and while the waitress—smiling
a meth-toothed cominup—fixes two,
the only other customer is blessed
with a pancake the size of three
regular ones, a batter-puddle morphed
into a child’s dream, a syrup-sponge
the circumference of an end table’s top,
a basketball hoop, a Sunday hat’s straw brim.
This is a flying saucer hurled from the 50’s
skidding to a halt at the only booth manned
with an appetite. Like a looking glass,
like a low note held long, like a hubcap
settling from the wreck of the week, it lies
belly-up and waiting for some sweetness.
This is the size of a grown man’s
leaning forward, circling to embrace it
perfectly, hands clasped as if in prayer,
head down, paused, or just lingering
in the absoluteness of a gesture
so similar to protection, so close
to comfort, to a time when all
he had to do was draw the world
into his arms and begin to sway.
Male Sex Doll Travels the Ceiling of West Irondequiot High School
I can only ask about the engineering,
not the 7 balloons’ worth of helium lifting him
through the canned silence of a high school library
into the reaches of ceiling, skylights, legend.
No, I keep thinking not of logistics though I laugh
at the story of his sailing across the end of year exams
and proms and how the administration could not
shoot him for fear of bad aim and shattered glass.
It's the very idea of it— a male sex doll. Really?
How stiff can air be? Is he seamless?
Is his mouth open like his perennially singing
partner's? Would I want it forever receiving?
Where is his heft, the delicious weight
and width of a man's hips and how some
hold themselves above on forearms and how often
I'd rather they crash down, use every ounce,
remind me of how heavy, smothering,
pressing love can be, its necessity like stones
piled on the chest, air slipping out and asking
for more, more weight. That's why my legs
wrap around the back. They are locking him there.
But air-man? Float-a-sex? What can I possibly
do with him? Better to leave him traveling
the ceiling of West Irondequiot High, a corralled
blimp rubbing against its enclosure, slowly deflating,
until one day, when the students have long departed
for summer, cars and their own rising heat,
it wafts down like a spent, sullied ghost
to drape himself across the reference section
for a librarian to find, consider and dispose of.