Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Sleeping with Kermit the Frog — Patrick Johnson

I’ve been sleeping with Kermit
For over twenty years now.
My mother thought it was adorable;
She never caught Kermit enjoying
The wash’s spin cycle.

My father did.
Said it’d stunt my growth,
Kill my eyes,
Get felt all over
My indeterminately-sized
Hands.

Miss Piggy didn’t approve either.
My father used her to discipline me
Because she was terrifying.
Like my grandfather with
A wig, no cigarettes, no cane.

Miss Piggy burned in the car crash
That trapped my parents in the hospital.
My father died from crushed lungs
Ending “The fuck is wrong with you?”s.
My mother died from a broken heart
Impaled by a spare rib,
Settlement pending.

It’s just me and Kermit and
Silence in the house
Until we get into bed—closing
The door out of habit.
Turning out the lights
So I can concentrate.

We use my childhood bed
Under X-Men sheets,
Have late-night pillow talks
I’d take acid to make
Kermit’s voice sound
Less like mine
But I don’t know where to get any,
And it’d mean leaving our house
And learning how to smoke acid.

I suppose it’s weird
Fisting Kermit three-fourths
The way towards my elbow
To make him talk,
But I’ve been doing it with him
Almost every night
Since I was three.

It’s not a fetish I swear
It’s necrophilia before anything else.
A séance, really.
All I want is someone to talk to.

I just want to get
To Sesame Street.
People to talk to there.
And puppets.
I’m fine giving up Kermit
For other people to talk to
Even if they’re puppets.

Tired of lying in bed every night
With just my hand
And a green sock
With unblinking eyes
I know are always watching me.

I should probably Google
If you’re supposed to smoke acid.

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