Ten Days After Russell Edson Died

for Russell, who died on April 29, 2014

An ape walks down the street, dragging his intestines behind him. They leave wet streak marks on the sidewalk.

Someone stops him to say, “Do you know your innards are trailing behind you?”

“Why, yes, thank you,” the ape says. “It’s really no different than you carrying your severed head in your hands.”

Someone’s head looks up from his hands to his neck. “I never thought of it that way,” says someone. “It’s like Charlie who carries his left kidney in his pocket.”

“Or JoAnn who has both of her breasts in plastic bags in her purse,” replies the ape.

“Or my brother-in-law who wears his first failed marriage all over his face.”

“Hell,” says the ape, “I once saw a person pull his entire childhood in wagons and boxes behind him.”

“That’s sad,” says someone, turning his head into his stomach to cry. The ape sees this, puts his huge hand on someone’s shoulder and pats it.

This moment, this little conversation, this touching between someone and the ape, will be something they both remember for years to come.