Two poems by Mitchell Grabois



I told my dentist
that if she didn’t stop stalking me
I’d call the cops and have her arrested

She looked hurt
We live together, she said
How can I be stalking you?

I had her by the short hairs
Since she raped me
when I was in her dental chair
my first appointment
flying on nitrous oxide
she gets edgy if I ever mention cops

even if it’s something as innocent
as telling her about the sinister black police cars
new to our city’s department
They look like Batmobiles
the officers avengers of the night
behind smoked glass

It seemed so silly
I had to laugh
when two teams of cops drove up in those things
in response to my call about a rabid coyote
in the neighborhood

I didn’t really know if he was rabid
but he was stumbling
He was either rabid or drunk
Maybe they could give him a breathalyzer
to find out which

The coyote escaped down the alley
and headed west
toward the front range

He had a lanky lope
that reminded me of my best friend in high school

Anyway, my dentist, my girlfriend
came home and threw off her clothes
put on a Japanese kimono
that emphasized her thinness
She had the most delicate wrists I’d ever seen on a dentist
on any woman
I could snap them like toothpicks
if I wanted
but why would I?

Every night she filled me with nitrous
until I floated on a blue cloud
into her bed
into her body

Don’t be cruel, honey
she begged me
in the Southern accent
she’d almost lost
Don’t talk about calling the police on me
I love you
so much

despite your bad enamel
and your periodontal disease
your fear of dentists
and your phobia about dental treatment
and your resentment of me

How long did it take you to get through dental school?
I asked her
handing her another glass of vodka
with very little tonic in it

I don’t know, she said
I don’t remember

but it was a long road
filled with pain

The pain wasn’t mine
but that didn’t make it
any easier 




Stained Glass

A woman enters the church
Behind the alter are deep blue
stained glass windows
in the Marc Chagall style
She stops and looks at them for a moment before
moving further into the building
My cousin whispers that this woman’s husband
was the artist working on those windows
when there was an accident
and he was sliced to death
by falling glass

The woman paid the church a great deal of money
not to hang the windows
but they hung them anyway
because they hated her
for reasons related to local history
which my cousin will not share with me

This widow stops at the back row of the church
and kisses several women
a kiss to each cheek
She wears a look of distaste as she does so

Her distaste
my cousin tells me
is as meaningless
as if it were her response
to the bitter taste of their cosmetics




Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois was born in the Bronx and now splits his time between Denver and a one-hundred-and-twenty-year-old, one room schoolhouse in Riverton Township, Michigan. His short fiction and poems have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” published in The Examined Life in 2012, and for his poem. “Birds,” published in The Blue Hour, 2013. Grabois’s novel, Two-Headed Dog, is available for all e-readers for 99 cents. Click for Kindle. Click for Nook. Click for the print edition.


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