Ricardo Pau-Llosa

The man recalled how when he chewed
bubble gum as a boy he was indistinguishedly

desirous of blowing the biggest bubble,
breaking the eyeball records among his buddies,

and doing just that on his birthday once,
and how happy he was to suck the pink skin

of once bubble from his face, how it bearded
there foreshadowingly, and how he wished for once

he'd have the tongue of a toad to sweep
the icky prey from his cheeks with one lick.

He would ponder, by way of a philosophical
exercise much later in a science class,

how many bubble-gum molecules had stayed
invisibly on his face with each burst, thus

eroding the moon of the balloon a measureable
bit with each burst and lick and chew and blow again,

methodical as orbit, or if instead the sucked
tatters of the gum had not picked off molecules

from his face, so that with each turn he'd be less
and the bubble would be more, with bits of him

now bonded to the ever more alabaster expanse
that, in a dream or in the hope of one, would cover

his whole head, laundry-bag him, jellyfish him,
Jonah him down never to emerge again.