by Kenton K. Yee

A barkeep goes to her therapist, says:
I can’t sleep—hypnotize me. So you do and take her

to Central Park and fall madly in love.
She cuts tail    and you’re on your couch

rifling through web pages    pricing colonoscopies.
It’s hopeless. You’re mediocre.    Your mother was right.

And you hear the lady in the balcony below you
screaming into a phone   at her son.

   No, I can’t bail you out.   No, I can’t take your kids.
          No, I’ve worked my tail off to afford a balcony.
      Yes, I’m saving up for tail-replacement surgery.

Her tale piques you.    You ask her to the zoo,
advise her to grab the tiger by the tail.

As she struggles to hang on, the tiger bares its fangs
at you. Its tail pops off and the tiger leaps,

its front claws reaching for your cheeks.
The tiger mauls you inside and out     like your father did.

The next day you’re not making heads from tails
    but your patients seem chipper enough.

       You’re bleeding to death, they’re paying you to stay alive.
Outside, the fishes look for fallen Freudians to sleep with.