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The Frog Prince

 Frau Doktor,
Mama Brundig,
take out your contacts,
remove your wig.
I write for you.
I entertain.
But frogs come out of the sky like rain.
Frogs arrive With an ugly fury.
You are my judge.
You are my jury.
My guilts are what we catalogue.
I'll take a knife and chop up frog.
Frog has not nerves.
Frog is as old as a cockroach.
Frog is my father's genitals.
Frog is a malformed doorknob.
Frog is a soft bag of green.
The moon will not have him.
The sun wants to shut off like a light bulb.
At the sight of him the stone washes itself in a tub.
The crow thinks he's an apple and drops a worm in.
At the feel of frog the touch-me-nots explode like electric slugs.
Slime will have him.
Slime has made him a house.
Poison is at my bed.
He wants my sausage.
He wants my bread.
Mama Brundig, he wants my beer.
He wants my Christ for a souvenir.
Frog has boil disease and a bellyful of parasites.
He says: Kiss me.
Kiss me.
And the ground soils itself.
Why should a certain quite adorable princess be walking in her garden at such a time and toss her golden ball up like a bubble and drop it into the well? It was ordained.
Just as the fates deal out the plague with a tarot card.
Just as the Supreme Being drills holes in our skulls to let the Boston Symphony through.
But I digress.
A loss has taken place.
The ball has sunk like a cast-iron pot into the bottom of the well.
Lost, she said, my moon, my butter calf, my yellow moth, my Hindu hare.
Obviously it was more than a ball.
Balls such as these are not for sale in Au Bon Marché.
I took the moon, she said, between my teeth and now it is gone and I am lost forever.
A thief had robbed by day.
Suddenly the well grew thick and boiling and a frog appeared.
His eyes bulged like two peas and his body was trussed into place.
Do not be afraid, Princess, he said, I am not a vagabond, a cattle farmer, a shepherd, a doorkeeper, a postman or a laborer.
I come to you as a tradesman.
I have something to sell.
Your ball, he said, for just three things.
Let me eat from your plate.
Let me drink from your cup.
Let me sleep in your bed.
She thought, Old Waddler, those three you will never do, but she made the promises with hopes for her ball once more.
He brought it up in his mouth like a tricky old dog and she ran back to the castle leaving the frog quite alone.
That evening at dinner time a knock was heard on the castle door and a voice demanded: King's youngest daughter, let me in.
You promised; now open to me.
I have left the skunk cabbage and the eels to live with you.
The kind then heard her promise and forced her to comply.
The frog first sat on her lap.
He was as awful as an undertaker.
Next he was at her plate looking over her bacon and calves' liver.
We will eat in tandem, he said gleefully.
Her fork trembled as if a small machine had entered her.
He sat upon the liver and partook like a gourmet.
The princess choked as if she were eating a puppy.
From her cup he drank.
It wasn't exactly hygienic.
From her cup she drank as if it were Socrates' hemlock.
Next came the bed.
The silky royal bed.
Ah! The penultimate hour! There was the pillow with the princess breathing and there was the sinuous frog riding up and down beside her.
I have been lost in a river of shut doors, he said, and I have made my way over the wet stones to live with you.
She woke up aghast.
I suffer for birds and fireflies but not frogs, she said, and threw him across the room.
Kaboom! Like a genie coming out of a samovar, a handsome prince arose in the corner of her bedroom.
He had kind eyes and hands and was a friend of sorrow.
Thus they were married.
After all he had compromised her.
He hired a night watchman so that no one could enter the chamber and he had the well boarded over so that never again would she lose her ball, that moon, that Krishna hair, that blind poppy, that innocent globe, that madonna womb.

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