Wind Instruments by Chris D’Errico

there’s a disorder called pica       people eat non-food
a rag       stray feathers or a crumpled up paper bag
fingers full of sand       a palm full of dirt      a mouth-
ful of soap          broken glass             a bent nail
a disorder that reeks of misunderstanding and a desire
to feel full                              on what might choke
eat something inedible                   scratch the palate
a slit of blood in the throat            puffy lips and hands
inside front pockets as if to erase the body aloof as if
the scorching inside              was not to be noticed
i had a friend in grammar school who had this
curvature of the spine             a haunt of missing teeth
arms of a clock     and a deadpan will to become air
his eyes were mice and he hid behind sunglasses
played the saxophone brilliant the trumpet the flute
shut-up             shut-up kid you’re lips are moving
shut your mouth little shit               your breath stinks
i had a friend in grammar school         he ate the paste
we used to make collages                  ate the chalk
we used to color these collages      talked hilarious shit
gobbled crayons and glue         raymond his name was
he died        but not before i made some lame rhyme
cracked a joke about my friend ray who is now dead
clunky thing of it is i       only remember the hurt look
the smartass                 the led zeppelin® t-shirt
never did hear ray cry          that he was lost or hungry

Chris D’Errico has worked as a short order cook, a doorman, a neon sign-maker’s helper, and an exterminator, among other vocational adventures. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he writes and makes music. For more, visit



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