One Floor Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Susan Charkes

It is hard to tell whether they are beating the rugs or sitting down to dinner. Much of what goes on could be expressed in mnemonics. “A short-sighted stray fell off the roll of hay.” “Nary a woods, many the winds.” “The professor needed change to park outside the bank.” This was the same professor who argued that binocular vision is the root of clinical depression: “Chipmunks go about their business gathering seeds and small arthropods, a few centimeters above the fecund humus of the great mother, while Man gazes into an empty void that he inseminates with anxiety,” he stated in his self-published monograph, “Get Down On All Fours and Squeak.” It all comes down to interpretation. One man’s ((mother)) is another man’s ))mother(( , but you won’t know which until you switch on the porch light.

Susan Charkes lives in southeastern Pennsylvania. Her poetry chapbook, sp., is available (The Operating System, 2017), and her poems have been published in Arsenic Lobster, Cleaver, Denver Quarterly, Gargoyle, The Matador Review, Paper Nautilus, Posit, Prick of the Spindle, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Wax Paper, and elsewhere.

more by Susan Charkes:
The Bird Who Came to Dinner