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Just think about it.
This woman is in charge of torturing you.
And this is her. The real her. With this sick grim little I swallowed your goldfish smile.
She says she is just a normal middle class American.
Like, no big deal, right?
This makes things a whole lot worse, you’re thinking.
She’s torturing you, and telling you
This is what normal Americans do,
And the only difference between her and the rest of them
These normal middle class Americans,
Is that she’s allowed to do these things
And they are allowed only to think of doing things like these
And for some of them even that is enough even more than enough
Though for others, nothing would ever be enough
So that once those others are put in charge of torturing you
In that precise methodical knowhow-in-this-department way we have
The torturing department that is
Which is practically our middle name
You’d better watch out if you know what’s good for you
But if you’ve reached this point it may be
That nothing is good for you, or could possibly
Ever be good for you
This woman wants you to believe she did everything she did
For the best of normal American nice lady next door reasons
And would be happy to go into more detail about it with you sometime
Say when she’s torturing you
She says she had to do it because of top secret normal duty rule
#1212which she can’t ever tell you about due to loyalty
To you forget what and
You believe her.
She says she never knew
Never had a clue
And is now in charge of torturing you.
OK you think.
Maybe it’s not Bloody Gina after all.
Just your imagination playing tricks, running away with you.
Maybe it’s just some nice normal middle class lady.
Like, after all. Come on now. No worries.
What’s to be scared of, right?
Still there’s a certain suspense.
You can hear the clock on the wall ticking
Though there is no wall
And no clock.
Then you look up.
That took some nerve.
And she’s in the cell with you and the two guards.
And she pulls off the hood.
And Jeeeeminy Crickets!! No!!
Gina!! Not you!!!
All of a sudden I’m starting to feel Totally Normal!!!
I swear it, Gina!
Just – no more, PLEASE!! OWWWW!!!
Tom Clark is poet. His books include Light & Shade: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House, 2006) and Threnody (effing press, 2006).