A Poem by Ed Doerr
Organizing My Underwear Drawer By Silhouette, Color, & Designer As A
Coping Mechanism At the Onset of a Panic Attack
Don’t die in a pair of dirty draws, my uncle once said.
You don’t want nobody snickering at two slugs
racing down the crack of your ass.
The mystery of the universe within bleary-eyed reach:
sometimes, so soft you forget. You’ve long
since sewed its truth into your seams;
other times, a waistband snapped against tender skin.
Trust me, his eyes begged, like he’s seen the best minds
of his generation with their shit-stained
tighty-whities looped around their ankles,
bloated & festering in rain-choked sewers,
like a pair of black Calvin Klein Intense Power briefs
can kill the bass & turn up the lights
on the euphoric cancer-cell rager
thumping in the depths of my colon,
can disperse the blood-shot hordes
& finally lock the fuck up for the night,
or red Under Armor Boxerjocks
can transmute into a stop sign
& spit a whistle’s shriek
to halt a bus from mashing me to a pulp
a pedestrian would almost certainly
dismiss as a glop of wet tar,
or yellow Diesel stretch briefs
can shunt hydrogen into the core of the sun
before its final gasp & collapse
swallow existence in its gaping maw,
our atomic unmaking reduced to flecks of shit
on the draws of an unstitched universe.
Ed is a teacher and the author of Sautéing Spinach With My Aunt (Desert Willow Press, 2018). He was recently selected as a featured poet for Cathexis Northwest Press. Other words can be found in or forthcoming from Water/Stone Review, Hippocampus Magazine, One Teen Story, Perhappened, Parentheses Journal, Drunk Monkeys, Flypaper Lit & more. Readers can follow him on Twitter (@EdDoerrWrites) and visit his website (eddoerr.com).