#428: Curly, Dunkin Donuts, and that Bosch Painting (another poem on April 21, 2022)

I miss my best friend from high school.
His name was either Jeff, McBee, McTimmons
or McSeven, depending on a variety of
variables, none of which were his choosing.
My parents called him Curly
because he got a perm once
and the curls, years later, were still there.
We listened to music all the time
and together we got drunk hanging
with older kids from an Everclear
concoction mixed up inside of a cooler.
I worked at Dunkin Donuts for three
years, and my job was to hose
the kitchen floor and squeegee
the soggy donuts down the drain.
I also dumped 25 pounds of sugar
into a big-ass bowl, added some water,
color, and flavoring to mix up
the icing. I called my boss “dude”
once and after that, never again.
I first saw the Hell part of Bosch’s
“Garden of Earthly Delights” triptych
on a Deep Purple album cover
and believed at the time that the art
was made specifically for this record.
I found the image of the gigantic rat
eating people and pooping them
back out again especially disturbing.
This has been a poem about
a childhood friend, an old job,
and a work of art–all of which,
despite the decades, still inhabit
my very being, you know, as if not
a moment has passed in the interim.

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