How a pufferfish, stripped

         to the bone, recalls
                                a collusion of jacks
                                holding gossiping congress:
the robin’s throbbing origami grace found 
picking off crepe paper butterflies—
Goldwyn, mousy and moth-brown, milking
her pancreas fickly over death’s doddering 
doorstep, knocking,
                                        is anyone home?
while the laureled catalpa 
wets its bed with
sun-fluffed flowers,
like sulfurous match heads,
spent in a crapulent pyre
we dare not mutter of, sap
grown thick around plump and clunkily
carouseled thumbs—the gums gone
bubblegum grey and the barbels, electric,
eclectic, mistook for mere locks now,
pedicured, tasteless baleen broom-bristles
picking at what rough, rustling
static emphatically tousled
to gormless noise. 
                If only she’d note
                but the nose of it,
                rooting through
                frazzling auburn 
                lilacs auguring
                something akin
                to the gamboling big one—now,
how the pufferfish bloats all
its near geodesic bones around
what frail, airy, and faithless fear?
The answer might curdle 
 a sugar- or glass-flecked foal
 into splintering, bald, indigestible   
                   driftwood, framing 
               abounding presence as guts, but
     humus seduced from a Trojan condom,
   jacks snatched deftly with one fell swat felt
 gashing the palm into possible, throttling, even
Dickensian dry rot*.
*defined by the 
  uncommercial traveller’s ravaging 
  night walks