Poetry: Paul The Skull/The Skull of Paul

By Dan Leicht

Paul was very tall
and now I have his skull
but
that’s not what this poem is about at all

Relax it’s a replica
given to me as they were cleaning out the office of a surgeon
did it really belong to someone?
Paul is that you?
He wears my glasses as I write
at times I’ll glance at him to the left of the laptop screen
pretend he’s watching
interested in what it is I am writing “Care you hear about this line?”
I’ll ask. No reply. He keeps to himself, or is simply ignoring me.
Deep cavities stare out, jealous of the mug or can,
more often than not containing caffeine, some sort of personal buzz,
the elixir for the page,
Hemingway’s tactics aren’t for everyone,
is there anyone famous for tea yet?

Paul has perfect front teeth, on the top at least,
he’s missing a couple on the bottom
along with one of his molars. What happened Paul?
Did you not brush enough?
A sweet tooth is a hard habit to break, it needs to be quenched,
much like the helpless need to fill the page day after day.
Classical music always plays during the sessions,
Paul likes piano almost as much as alliteration.
If he still had his hands I imagine
he’d have a million views by now,
just as many likes,
but still working a job outside of his passion to pay the rent,
much like everyone else. He’d come home from work everyday,
around five or so, sit at the piano, one given to him by his grandmother,
left to him in her will,
he wouldn’t get up from the leather covered bench
for hours, to him in the moment those hours feel like seconds,
from that bench he’d create masterpieces, rhapsody in every color,
the type of music people listen to while creating other forms of art,

the background to the inside of their minds.
There’s a replica of a brain inside of Paul’s skull.
It can be removed and taken apart, you can see where Paul kept his memories,
his passions, his regrets.
Being only a replica it’s clear, made of rubber, it’s all there though,
everything that made Paul Paul.

©Dan Leicht 2017

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