Three Hydras

By P. E. Garcia

Hydra at the Dentist

For each tooth pulled, two teeth emerge. Other dentists are brought in to pull the rapidly replenishing teeth; soon there are hundreds, then thousands, then millions of teeth, and an equal number of dentists, elbows in each other’s faces, toiling over bloody gums. More people are required: assistants, receptionists, insurance agents, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, paramours, priests, presidents, people to sweep the bone and to mop the blood, until the whole world thinks of nothing but the hydra and its teeth and the satisfying ache of release.

Hydra for President!

The heads try to shout over one another: American Dream! American People! America! The nation is offered up like a child, and each head places a firm kiss on the population’s cheek. A thousand suits, a thousand ties, a thousand heads with a thousand teeth smiling a thousand smiles as a thousand necks crane over the country, casting a shadow under which we can all lie, huddled together, gnawing each others’ fingers to bloody stumps.

Hydra in the Big City

Heads as big as five boroughs and a tangle of necks with names like Brooklyn, Verrazano, Williamsburg. Faces lined with grids, pockmarked with landmarks, sweating people into the Hudson, into the Gowanus, into the gutters. A heart like Grand Central, a stomach like Times Square, and twin cocks like two towers scraping the sky, one named Freedom; the other: Empire.

These were originally published by tNY Press.