by A.J. Huffman



The Baseball Cap was Moonlighting


as a kitchen pot.  Or at least that’s what I thought

when I saw it hanging over the stove.  And I wondered

if it wanted to replace the sweating hair that usually filled it

with gooey strands of pasta?  And would it even know

the difference?  Or maybe it was morose, and dangling

from the final thread in a potential gothic suicide.

Was it dreaming of disintegrating flames?  A final warmth?

An embrace that would quickly carry its fibers into nothing

more than ash and lingering memories?  Despondent now,

I plucked it from its tiny metal tether and carried it to the laundry.

Whatever intention was lingering in this brainless head-mold,

it was nothing that could not be washed away.  I dropped it in,

and smiled.  Everyone and everything deserved a chance

at a fresh start.



a black line


Self-Portrait as Sea Crate


Black and white lines define me.

I am finite.  Creature

of water and land, I can thrive

in any condition.  You cannot

suffocate or drown me.

I crawl up walls, stick

to floors.  Suspended

animation is my gift.  I breed and leave.

Survival is my first, last and middle name.



a black line


I Refused to Fishhook a Piece of Chicken


from my niece’s mouth.  She had fallen

asleep, mid-chew, in her carseat, finally

losing the battle between exhaustion and hunger.

Her mother ordered the immediate removal

of the remnant from her mouth with a force

she did not have the power to exert.  I understood

the potential danger that echoed with the command,

but just could not bring myself to intrude

on her somnolent peace, or her desire to retain

a tangible piece of her favorite comfort

food as I could see it gripped tightly

as if her teeth were hands, and the offensive

fried fowl was the only blanket in sight.



a black line

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