Tom Oristaglio

The Sword in the Stone

an endlessly familiar thing
like that scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit
where a scapegoat drowns over and over again
with the dishes

but can in fact escape

but only when it is funny

or that episode of Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers
where a mousey polynesian princess
perfect doppelganger for everyone’s elusive ideal object of affection
a gadget

seduces both crack detectives
and sets her double up

to run the gauntlet

I have thought and always thought
that unconditional love meant self-denial
for the other’s happiness
if anyone can even really ever have been said to have denied themselves anything

and I wonder sometimes what requited means
or maybe consummated
or maybe requisitioned
or maybe consumer-happiness index
since I’m sure I’ve denied it you
the way you’ve denied it me

open up cartoon


let me feel your Platonic pools of


pink squirrels crying
in the cartoon air

Tom Oristaglio lives in Brooklyn, New York where he writes poetry and makes photocopy collage art. His work has appeared in Fourteen Hills, Parallax (Singing Saw Press), Anatomy & Etymology, Cricket Online Review, and elsewhere. He is an assistant editor at The Atlas Review.

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