Like Crabs Cracked Open

The insides of words can be just
as inscrutable as their outsides
so I like to crack them open like a crab shell

I’ll quickly remove the sign from the word “Stop”
but not before seeing the one I missed
in my second “DUI” which is sometimes called

a “DWI”, where “influence” becomes “intoxicated”
and I discover Audrey Hepburn sipping martinis
with Cary Grant in the French Alps that suddenly

become the Swiss Alps and I’m confronted
by the sad “cow” that made me feel oddly hidden in my chair
back in the third grade when it was just

a picture of a cow in “Our Big World”
and I leave the picture to smell the pages
and stare down into the wood classroom floor

very much like the wood chair Audrey Hepburn is
sitting on at the beginning of the movie “Charade”
where there was plenty of killing and excitement

but nobody got drunk like Cary Grant did
in “North by Northwest” or sent to AA (which really
saved my life) for failing to see a “Stop”

sign on my way home from a crab
feast where I had taken a mallet and cheerfully
cracked open a bushel full of words.

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