The Maynard
Spring 2016

C. Wade Bentley

Head Shot

My friend who is Hindu refuses
to take a shower, in deference
to the millions of bacteria
he would dislodge, or to move
from the couch to the carpet
where he might crush unknown
numbers of pyroglyphids. I say
he’s a lazy son of a bitch.

Speaking of which, I hear my ex-
wife now teaches Goddess
classes. On our last vacation together
she was reading the complete
The Secret series as we sat in our beach
chairs, me using Corona bottles
to fry sand flies while noticing out
the corner of my eye how
she seemed to be intently wishing
something in my direction.

I meet my therapist weekly
at the gun club and he tells me
not to dismiss so easily the ways
others choose to find meaning,
and also to breathe out through
my nose, to picture the smoke
of the Marlboro reds he made me
quit smoking curling from my
nostrils, hanging in the air
along with the anxieties that had also
lodged deeply in my chest,
to squeeze the trigger only
as the last one leaves, to let
the 9-millimeter projectile fly where
it is meant to fly, obliterating
whichever part of the cardboard
human target currently hosts
my deepest dysphoria—the meaning
and etiology of which, so he says,
can only then be made clear.