about the author

John Bonanni lives on Cape Cod, MA, where he serves as editor for the Cape Cod Poetry Review. He is the recipient of a scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and grants for the arts from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. His work has appeared recently in Off the Coast, Occupoetry, elimae, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among others.

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The Pig

John Bonanni

Out of my way, I say to the pig.

I rest my palms on the fur of its belly and push into it, bending my knees and scuffing my shoes on the pavement. I sound like sandpaper, like a house being worked on. And all my weight fell into this inanimate creature’s steady statue.

The pig was unmovable. It doesn’t even look at me. I wonder how it had gotten to be in the middle of the road, why it is so damn heavy and I wonder many other things too, among them, how this thing, so bored with me, would one day get to be bacon. This was a mean thing to think, but the Intrepid purrs impatiently, and I want the pig gone.

I haul a few breaths down to the base of my lungs, I get a long running start, pounding the pavement until I reach the pig until I stop, summon all the power of my being, heave heavy with both hands, lunge myself into the belly once more, and finally, it stops too. And again. It still does nothing. No movement. No eye contact. And here is where I cry.

I don’t know why the pig is there, or why it won’t move, or how I even got to be so fucking rural. There is something in my memory that put me here in this road with this duty and all I want to do is hit this stupid pig.

Why won’t you move? I say to the pig. Its long stare to the grassy meadows next to the road. No focus, no want, nothing. And because of his nothing, there is nothing here for me to do. I let each tear somersault down my amphibious cheek. They are on a waterslide. Nothing sticks.

Oh yeah, well doing nothing is doing something! I say from a disfigured wet face.

I walk over to the Intrepid and look at myself in the passenger side mirror. My face is wet but it isn’t red. It’s supposed to be red. Isn’t there salt in tears?

Around the corner, sirens pierce the meadow with red strands of thread.

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