Stomach of steel: Monsieur Mangetout
ate the bicycle broken into one inch bits,
washing it down with mineral oil, and lots
of water. He didn’t eat the "inedible" parts,
the pedals, the crank gear, or the handle bar.
He savored the chain, because it had a taste.
In between he snacked on razor blades, two
plates, a light bulb, and, for fun, bent coins
with his teeth. He's eaten shopping carts, nails,
a chandelier: might be the only man to end up
with a coffin inside him. When I was young
I had a condition—I was too thin. He had his first
piece of glass at sixteen, in a pool. Standing alone
in the shallow end, the cool evening air rippling
his arms and chest. He cried out when his foot
found the sharp edge. But in his hand
it felt like rain. He swallowed smooth.