Theodore Worozbyt






She handed me the tumbler filled with something like thinned anisey milk. A fat goldfish

white all over but for gold spots behind each thrust-out eye (clear and black and white in a

wobbly sickening way) lifted its face through the ice qubes toward me and mouthed foul

cold puffs at my face and my cousin wanted me to take him home and put him in a bowl.

Him, she called him, as if a fish had a passport. Instead I went into the next room, scooped

it out and into my mouth like a tapa. The scales crunched with the ice chips. The eyes

weren’t like rank bubble tea at all, I didn’t notice them. There was a dryness and buzzard

flavor. I was still chewing it when I went back into the kitchen, trying to swallow. It, I had

something to do with the death of her daughter, I’d pushed her in the stroller into the hot

sun too long or watching someone do it waited too long and there was a trail and a

mountain where the mint pretends that silver seeks the golden sun and people disappear into

the rags of mist. Or maybe I just strangled her, who the fuck knows. Only one of the lights

in the kitchen was on, the hood light. I was crouching, or I was small. A huge caramel snail

rippled across the oven door so fast I knew it would drink from my eye. 




Phone in My Shoe


Across the tornado a weary whisper steals that sounds like someone’s name. In the sun

something convincing for a moment happens to my face. If it were the fifties I’d use “Bub,”

as in Forget it, Bub. Instead it is my birthday like a caterpillar of pink blow on a washing

machine or a nasturtium seed in the pocket of a windbreaker or a frog, not that frogs have

pockets. If love is not the answer to what question. The phone is in my shoe, otherwise I

would try to decipher your voice or whether it is. I live in a lightning-flavored pumpkin and

everything I breathe on shorts out. Ms. Faust wants a pair of question marks gone, some

more commas in, and a crisp inquiry into the possibility of misreading. Will I change my

tune? I am polite. And only seemingly polite. The ersatz hirsute doctor says, There are only

three channels of pursuit toward addressing this replacement, and offers two.




Theodore Worozbyt’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Antioch Review, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, New England Review, Po&sie, Poetry, Sentence, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly Online  and Quarterly West. He has published two books of poetry, The Dauber Wings (Dream Horse Press, 2006) and Letters of Transit, which won the 2007 Juniper Prize (The University of Massachusetts Press, 2008).