Captain Dirty Boy

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Contributor: Michaeleen Kelly

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Travis jerked his soiled sweats
over yesterday’s Batman drawers,
frustrated over being denied his pre-battle cleansing ritual.
Why couldn’t he shower again today?
“It’s the damn drought”, his mother yelled back,
pursuing her haughty lips in resentment
over her own lawn-watering restrictions.

He slammed the door of their Valley home,
then dodged potential enemy vehicles
cruising down the six-lane boulevard
running along the dried L.A. riverbank ravine.

He began his assault on the alien invaders
occupying the desert terrain,
disguised as airborne tumbleweed.
Then ratcheted up the ferocity of the attack
after coming upon a suspected enemy bunker,
disguised as a makeshift human shelter,
with a sentry made of tumbleweed blocking the entrance
and shielding the life and shame within.
The boy retreated quickly when his war cries were interrupted
by manly moans and groans.

He ceased his whipping in horror,
wondering if this guy could be his Uncle Kevin,
Mom’s homeless brother.
Rivers of shame rose up to redden his Dumbo ears.

Emboldened by making contact with the enemy,
he decided to put such unmanly feelings aside
and to embrace his newfound destiny as Captain Dirty Boy,
Commander in Chief in the War on Drought.
Maybe he could get his mom to find him
some Mad Max underwear.
He needed to head back to home base for supplies.
The world needed Captain Dirty Boy now
and he was just nasty enough to do its dirt.

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Michaeleen Kelly is an Emerita Professor of Philosophy at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her poetry has been published in Dunes Review, Praxis and Main Street Anthologies.


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