My friend has this prescription
for bachelorhood bliss:
Withdraw your penis
from your lover’s vagina
just as she’s about to come.

This lets her know who’s in control.
Hint: it’s not her.

I was contemplating my friend’s advice
when I went to buy
you flowers, and my credit card

was declined. And I thought, “If only
the feds didn’t take

withholding out of my paycheck,
then I could have
made you happy.” But then I realized

that I was lacking faith in you:
because you’d never
withhold affection over dead flowers
or stupid fucking diamonds.
So in this moment when our hearts

are beating so violently in our rib cages—
yearning to leap
into each others’ chests—
I promise, my love,
never to withhold anything from you.


Isis Bucket Challenge Dream

My executioner put his lips to my ear and whispered,
“After waterboarding you for 69 days,
It’s now time to ignite the Twittersphere:

We want to effect positive change
while accomplishing a propaganda victory
for the Islamic State. It increases the WTF factor.”

I was on my knees against a green screen:
Sand dunes were to be the backdrop of my beheading.
As the lens light went on, my executioner

stood up and drew his sword from his scabbard.
“For every head collected in one of our buckets,”
he announced, “We’ll donate a thousand dinars

to the ALS cause.” I wanted to throw cold water
on this challenge thing, but I couldn’t do so
with my hands tied behind my back.


Dan Grossman is a freelance writer covering the arts scene in Indianapolis for NUVO Newsweekly and author of Rogue Elephants: a Novel of the Peace Corps, available as a pdf ebook for free on LULU.com.


Carousel image by Joshua Veitch-Michaelis from Leamington Spa, England (Dead flowers, Pére Lachaise Cemetery) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons