Some say it’s pickled
(formaldehyde) in the basement
of a funeral parlor in Indiana.
Some say the mortician
had heard of Dillinger’s
legendary endowment—
the gangster’s gun molls
and cellmates talked.
When the corpse was delivered
by the FBI, the undertaker
couldn’t wait for the stiffs
great unveiling. He wasn’t
interested in bullet holes
(one in the face was
a matter for makeup).
He undertook to measure
length, circumference:
Even non-tumescent
it was monumental.
Why should such a marvel
be buried? The mortician,
with his wife’s boning knife,
carved away his fleshly
trophy. No one would know:
When laid out in his coffin
the gangster wore a suit.
Some nights as his wife
slept he crept down
to the basement, removed
the red velvet cloth
covering the pickle jar,
switched on the lamp—
the jar brilliantly backlit—
and sat admiring.
A few times he invited
cronies from his club
to come view his jar.
They joked, speculated
what woman could accommodate