Donald Illich


I feel I could die
in the most ridiculous ways—

a piano falling out a window,
mashing me into paste,

a mime battering me to death
with an imaginary club,

a child’s balloon lifting me
into a collision with Mary Poppins,

even dying on the toilet like Elvis,
not from a heart attack,

a tornado dropping the gas station
I’m in on Dorothy’s house,

my body crushed instead of a witch’s.
My death will be in "News of the Weird"

next to robbers who leave wallets
on the bank teller’s counter

and the strange Indonesian ceremony
of the dancing chicken.


After seeing The Hobbit
I had one ambition in life:
stealing an evil dragon

by jumping inside a cartoon,
turning the flat images
into steel armor, red scales,

and loathsome wings.
We’d fly to my school,
hunt down bullies, burn

them like flamethrowers
destroyed infantry in
hour long army men wars

we had during recess.
My teachers would paint
nervous As on my papers.

My parents would have to
let me fly across the city,
scaring pilots, prompting

UFO calls to secretive,
close-mouthed officials.
I’d use my powers for good,

stop thieves from looting
banks, criminals from killing
their victims. Its claws

would shred roofs; I’d pick
out the best games and toys,
hoard them in a child’s lair

carved within the town’s hills.
I’d amuse myself for years,
deep inside my childhood.

Donald Illich
Donald Illich is a technical writer with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland. He has had poetry published in The Iowa Review and Fourteen Hills and has poems forthcoming in New Zoo Poetry Review, Roanoke Review, and HazMat Review.



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