On the Casting Couch


by Stephen Zerance



Mr. Magic Man, I grew up at midnight
with a willing need 

for consumerism, a dramatic ritual 


I’m unwilling to pay for. I’ll spare you the details
of my childhood, chalk it up
to myth. Let’s make this easier—lop off


my midsection, slit me ear

to ear—it’s easier to speak to me without a face
or clothes. There’s no fear

when I’m felt up. I stumble with my mouth

and will raise Babylon

by tongue. I’ve whitened

my teeth so many times, gums
derelict, in credit card debt but I love
myself, it is my only passion.


My body tries to tell me something. A cough—
but I ignore it. What is air? 

Who are you? I’m nice 


and firm. I don’t remember 

names—that twilight language—
but know the lines.