"Mailbox Patience" by Benjamin Niespodziany

Campus is an eyeless moose 

complaining about a house party.

A camera strap made of cattle

prods. I am the third 


skirt on an assembly line, berserk

and unbecoming, missing 

a button. Is it true 


that firearms can turn 

your arms blue? Something

about the coil and all


I can think about is how

someone once filmed a rooster 

pecking a cobra, swallowed it 

whole. I stuffed myself and my soul 


into my mailbox and waited to surprise 

my wife (a mailwoman) but forgot 

it was Sunday, grew bored


once I realized my mini fridge

was still open, once I recalled

my doctor’s advice to stretch once (if not

twice) before pranking my patient wife.

"Thunder Before Lightning" by
Benjamin Niespodziany

With her metal boots, she never looks up,

continues to repeat, “Sure, sure, 


the sky is great out here 

and those stars know a thing 

or two, but it's the serpents in the grass 


you should be concerned about.”

It's why she carries a cattle prod.


A snake ate her husband on their wedding

night. She stepped into the hotel


and saw an anaconda swallowing

her beloved whole. She stabbed it


with the axe they used to cut

their wedding cake, but it was too late.


Now she wears its scales

as a belt, a fanny pack purse, calls herself


the Viper Queen Hearse. “They deny

us as gods, blend right into where we stand. 


Pass me the housewine while I grab 

a machete with my free hand.”