The Blob at High School Reunion

Noel Sloboda

The Blob at High School Reunion  

After oozing back to Arborville
following three decades living
in another time zone, I shimmy

into the gym, then across the dance floor,
looking much like I did years before.
Same awkward gait. Same bald pate.

But unlike my classmates, I appear
no bigger round the middle.
Nobody here knows how I dieted

my way back to myself
after ballooning to stadium size.
For years, I devoured everything

that might hurt me—
bombs lobbed by soldiers, 
bad reviews from bosses,

curses from my ex-wife,
the bus that cut me off
on the way to Mom’s funeral.

Without feet to shuffle 
or hands to wring, I listen to Robert Plant
croon about what makes him wonder

while I watch slow-dancers jiggle
much as I do. No child of the sea, 
I feel more alone than ever before.

My reflection caught in bare teeth
in fake smiles, almost
makes me happy I have no mouth—

as inside the old hunger blossoms
and a bloom of crimson
colors my complexion.


Noel Sloboda is the author of the poetry collections Shell Games (sunnyoutside, 2008) and Our Rarer Monsters (sunnyoutside, 2013) as well as several chapbooks, most recently Our Cardenio (Medusa’s Laughter Press, 2018). He has also published a book about Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein. Sloboda teaches at Penn State York.

Editor’s Notes:  Movie poster of The Blob from:

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