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by Parker Smith

Elmo is wound around her arm
like toxic moss on a thin bough.
He feeds her
obscene lines: Play with Elmo,
Again, Again! Elmo
loves you. Is this plush
pedophile your idea of fatherhood,
Gombrich? At least you could bet
on a back hand from the old man
now and then – a tender welt
hedging on your cheek each time
you smashed a glass or let
a yard patch wilt. Now
he vibrates, and forget cutting
in. That double-a voice-box
sings a song sweeter than you
can even dream of. Watch
the poly-follicles static-cling her cheek
and ask yourself: at what age
did you come to love the cuffs?
Before or after you first dealt
a few blows of your own?