Daniel M. Shapiro Sings “Heaven’s on Fire”
with Alan E. Simon during a Spanish Test,
Brighton High School, Rochester, NY, ca. 1987

(first appeared in the chapbook The 44th-Worst Album Ever (NAP, 2012)

What we did wrong:
We made devil horns, extending
pinkie and index finger correctly,
but we locked the middle fingers
with our thumbs. When Gene Simmons
invented I love you, he aimed a loose thumb
at the sky. We would need to learn
how to love 4,000 women later.

What we did right:
We whispered, unplugged,
an homage to Wicked Lester days.
We showed our genuine faces
under gawking lights, never
missing a word. Prepared
to take burn with me
literally, we both got A’s.

Daniel M. Shapiro

Daniel M. Shapiro’s first best friend was David Lance, who lived three houses away in the 1970s. Both boys used to throw plastic parachuted men into the tall trees in David’s front yard, climb the trees, and rescue most of the men; Shapiro suspects some of them are still stuck in those trees. You can read Shapiro’s interviews with poets at his website Little Myths (