Obsessive-Compulsive Venusian
Checks List of Surviving Earthlings

Instructions: Using a #12X pencil only, check off all names that apply.

Better erase that check mark,
it looks a little shaky, a little
crooked. Nope, now it’s too narrow.
Erase it and try again. Wait—
I have to pop on yet another pencil-top eraser.
There, it just fits over the empty metal ferrule
that looked like a tiny open tin can before
you repeatedly punctured it with your fang.

Now . . . take a deep breath of fresh carbon dioxide . . .
and try again.
Nope, too big compared to the two
check marks above it – one of which, I see
if I rotate the form, is slightly higher
than the other. Better erase just a teensy
bit off the top of that one.
Too much, even it out.
Now the other one is too short.
erase . . . erase . . . erase
Now they look like lowercase v’s!
Wait for the invisible graphite to disappear and start over again.

—Ronald A. Busse