Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly
MR. POTATO HEAD AND THE FIVE SENSES
Mr. Potato Head hates the sound of his recorded voice, emotional reverberation in the vowel sounds. Oh. Ah. Big I's, long A's. He draws them out from the lungs, the traffic in his stomach. Eh lives in his nasal passages. The most common sound in all languages is the uh sound
Mr. Potato Head hasn't seen a kid with big ears in decades. They have been burnt out of the species. Mr. Potato Head has body dysmorphic disorder, blames it on growing up in a house with mirrors. After puberty, he learns that everybody sees his face more; he only sees his finked reflection. He has covered up all mirrors. The Jews think he is sitting shiva and ask who he his mourning for.
Mr. Potato Head has big, bottomless pores. They look like stars. The word sex reminds him of surgery and cellophane. His brain makes both experience-related and onomatopoetic associations. Sometimes he confuses homonym with homosexual. His pituitary gland feels like a root yanked out from ground or scalp.
Mr. Potato Head thought he enjoyed the smell of skunk. He believed all evolutionary defenses to be weak, like a shower with water pressure the size of a sneeze. The day a skunk shoots him from three feet away, he knows he is wrong. He takes a shower and feels shrapnel, pepperwood blades, shredded rain.
Mr. Potato Head's mouth can only serve one purpose. He speaks instead of eats, then stutters. Uh, he says. Uh oh. To make the sound oh, his stomach takes on the shape of nothing. If you eat Mr. Potato Head, you can taste his hips, his rips, but not his circling words -- nothing he has to say.
Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence University. Two of her poems will be featured in "The Clearing: Forty Years with Toni Morrison, 1970-2010". She has won full scholarships to both the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets and the Sarah Lawrence Summer Seminar. She has been published in Barely South Review, The Salzburg Review, and twenty-three other journals. She was named Breadcrumb Scabs' Editor's Pick. She is currently writing a novel.