Jon Woodward, American poet. His books are Uncanny Valley (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Rain (Wave Books), and Mister Goodbye Easter Island (Alice James Books).
The janitor asked me how
to pronounce the creature’s name
& I said salamander for him.
He looked at it on the screen
and I looked at him.
Slide your legs into its tail I said.
I can’t he said as he did.
Dish your guts there into its cavity
of guts, I can’t he said (manifestly untrue
for he did so). Mash the thing’s
name and yours I said together into
that irreversible hole I know you keep
And he did & it broke over his face
& flowed, water from the earth,
I can’t, I can’t, he said.