dream of decapitation by Jacob Friesenhahn

everyone you know
walks in
they all look so silly
without their heads

they parade in
like a gathering
of undotted i’s
silent sticks
missing the o’s
of open mouths

they are a tough crowd
eye contact is impossible
no matter how often
you look up
from your prepared notes

they may be sleepwalking
for all you know
no one returns your smile
you suspect some are crying

they stand around
unable to find their seats

your friends are hard
to recognize
it’s been so long
no one says
You still look great!

you can tell
all your old loves
have gained weight
none are still pretty
in the face

your enemies look
like old dolls
lying forgotten in your attic
their plastic heads
popped off and lost

useless corpora
ready to be tossed out
with broken green bundles
of tangled Christmas lights
no longer able to illume

your sweet mother arrives
absent in her presence
she gives some comfort
as always but distinctly
without recognition

the headless are numbly
unnerving in how they stare
their necks strain like cut
stems rotating implied orbs
globes of empty space
holding all that is not there

Jacob Friesenhahn teaches Religious Studies and Philosophy at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.