E & His Little Mouse
From AlphabeTique: the Lives of the Letters as Written by T.
E loved life underground and owned his mines,
Elemental Excellent Mining Company.
A shockingly tall, burly boy he’d been,
yet possessed of the elegant balance
of an egg poised on an internal point.
Other boys envied him.
Now he was a huge man with a schnaz
as big as a bull walrus proboscis.
But no matter what he did
he couldn’t get rid
of an embarrassing petite voice within,
his mouse, whose wee alarm went off
when danger came close.
As a boy E became a bully.
His mother, Maman, egged him on,
reaching up on her tiptoes to pat his head
and call him Ma Petite Souris,
her Little Mouse grown up so tall.
He took joy in extracting the mouse cry
from other boys, joy in heaving them down,
in hearing their eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
With full elegance he bullied them.
He bullied his miners
in his underground playground,
and he edged out his competitors.
Eliminate. Erase them from the Earth.
A lone woman called her mine Excellent Mining.
How dare she!
That’s my mine! Petite Souris squealed on the phone to her
when E meant to be gruff.
Old dangers, when one has grown, become so embarrassing.
Then E called everyone in the mine world
and turned them against her.
Unable to eradicate her the way
he excised his wives
and expunged one of his daughters
(the other daughter fled – and no sons were born)
he diminished Excellent Mining,
it was a voice whispering.
Every week he called Maman.
When her failing esophagus stopped up,
she whispered her chatter to him.
At last he went to her.
And when she couldn’t eat,
not even the spoonfuls he held for her,
and could barely say Ma Petite Souris all grown up,
he said, Oh Maman!
Oh my man! she whispered, curly and fancy.
And then she was gone.
He dug and he dug.
Then he bunked in the motel near his mines.
The cleaning ladies took care of him,
but when E heaved his bulk on top of them
near to orgasm, Petite Souris
would open his tiny pink mouth wide,
and out would come his cry,
Embarrassed, E only did each of them once.
All this time he never shed a tear.
At last E erased Maman.
Only Petite Souris remembered her.
Even when E’s whiskers were gray
and he ignored the maids in the mining motels
Petite Souris lost none of his resolve.
As long as E lived, Petite Souris
guarded E’s feelings
and only let them erupt when E’s back was turned.
As E breathed his last
in a hospital room
and as his room in the motel
was being cleaned by the next woman on the schedule
ready for the next occupant,
Petite Souri made E’s last sound
The mouse eternal
escaped though the vapor of E’s breath
and returned to the universe
where emotions circulate.
They do not die.
They do not even fade.
They enter the universe and wait for those who can, to feel.
And for those who can’t, they wait
and become the embarrassing animal
sprung from emotions
inside the walls of the mines.
They are the elements, the elements underground.
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