Poetry: Tim Kahl


The gut flora of a Disney princess
possesses a natural bouquet that the experts
say has a hint of vanilla in it.
The skatole churns in the bowel of Cinderella
even when she dreams a history
with the prince, the solemn kiss,
the spit swap that travels the esophagus
to introduce another species to them
both. Snow White is no less a nuisance
to the gastrointestinal tract of men.
The growth in her dry mouth is a toxic cocktail
of microbial trouble, and rumor has it
she has a tendency to bite.

But Disney princesses are not Tasmanian
devils who gouge each other in love battles
and let leaping tumors fly from face
to face. They smear, spit, bite, and dribble,
then wake up the next morning with a mask
of death growing on their snouts.
The tumors act like parasites and evolve,
transmitting fate like a traveling colon cancer
on the hand of a lab worker who
accidentally stuck herself with a syringe.

But no Disney princess has ever died of
colon cancer. They can live forever on
the screen and on little girls’ lunch boxes.
All they need is one long kiss to sustain them
in their precious moment. It is so delightful
to see Pocahontas and John Smith, Jasmine
and Aladdin, Belle and the Beast
in consort position, one tends to forget
the bacterial circus that performs all things
nutritious, deep in the gut, instinctive. Without it,
we might be too clean to live and
“love” would be just another word on the heap.

All rights reserved to Tim Kahl.

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