View Archives by:


Three-Ton Baby

Donald Illich

A three-ton baby learned to make
her own bottle before trampling

downtown and its flashing lights,
people who are celebrating birthdays

on the exact day the rampage begins.
She was at least well fed, not angry

but curious how cars would overturn,
the noise their inhabitants made when

they were squished between her toes.
Eventually this child would learn how

to shrink, to possess her classrooms
with laughter and bits of song. Grades

would stain her reports, badges
mark her Girl Scout uniform, boys

would throw bugs at her then kisses.
Nothing would be like it once was

when even the clouds came down
to her head, and the delicious billboards

crunched in her mouth. Those days
would return to her in dreams, appear

in reveries at school, when the teacher
flung a question she couldn't answer

at her self-esteem, and she heard a gurgle
then a stomp of her foot, a grape's

busted pulp bursting out of its skin,
the imagined body spattering juice.

Donald Illich

Read Bio

Author Discusses Poems