Flying Monkey at Bradlee’s, A Poem by Chris Russell

I’d seen a monkey fly inside Bradlees, with my ears, mostly. I didn’t realize I was that synesthetic, but I was, apparently. I flew over to a garden hose someone had left coiled beside the pansies, picked it up and began soaking the customers as they approached the front door. One picked up a pansy and threw it at me and it hit my face, cutting me just above the nose. I ran behind her and strangled her with the hose. “I have no idea what I am doing, you have to believe me,” I said. “You have no consolation that you are trying to strangle me?” she said. “I just saw a monkey fly into this department store and felt utterly compelled to prevent the customers from going inside,” I said. “Like it’s your mission,” she said. “I felt that too,” another man said. “As did I,” she said. “So you saw the monkey as well?” I said. “Did it have one eye and wheels for legs?” she said. “No, it didn’t,” I said. “Then I did not see your flying monkey,” she said. The monkey came out of the store holding a shopping bag. It winked at me. I was frightened and a little beside myself. It was clear whatever it was, was exercising some form of mind control. People assembled in a line and started skipping behind it like it was the Pied Piper. My legs started to skip, and I followed behind them. We came to a crosswalk and a police officer directing traffic around a busted pipe gave the flying monkey a high five. “Take good care of them flying monkey,” he said. “I will,” said the flying monkey. We skipped across the city far into the night, the June bugs rattling around their streetlights above our heads.

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