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September 18, 2019 Poetry

Three Poems 

Brody Parrish Craig

Three Poems  photo

Bible | Vers

Top to Bottom | scan my profile | For Christ’s Sake | Sing Jesus’ Name | I gospel & apostle | Book of Vers | My rural bottom’s up | My crop /top | down along the road | a hym(n) in hymn | this earth-bound angel| prophet /apocalyptic | horse| I ride | through town | tonight thinking of men | I meant to be | To Be | a hand that holds | a deal / another |made with bibles | a multitude | of Fingers |marking place | between | them & their Vers—| this vers | of red script brought | up by you | Bluff & Blush | the metaphor for | Christ | this rock | I crawled out / under | To Be | free— 



Haircut in the Kitchen Sink

Couldn’t feel when you nicked 
behind my ear, but I know 
the moment when you asked me 

if it hurt. Some remake scarlet

letter on the tv. Classic as a book 
unopened on the table, my hair fell 
over the kitchen sink & for once 
no man was hollering rapunzel

screaming let down, let— 

Down into the drain. laughing 
Different then, I didn’t flinch. 

***
Down South, most bothered us 
to make a living: we stashed ourselves 

in crowded basements, mosquitos
pooled around our feet, we tucked 

our xanax back in the church van.
 
***
In Louisiana, we learned warm baths 
salve bites as children first, but then

we saw the trucks that came in bursts 
of state-sent chemicals—we knew 

we were the same then: you, me, & 
the mosquitos. Not sure the moral’s

the state uses drugs to kill off “undesirables”
or that the dampest rooms will always buzz 

***
The Loudest if you listen. Listen. Listen—Let 

***
Us swear upon the night 
we buzzed our skulls 
inside the dealer’s kitchen. 

How when the men 
we stayed with slipped us, 
Even then, we dreamed 

of More—



Overpass

Perched above the slide, Meg says the cardinal’s her Nana coming back. I’m nine or ten. I scoff impossible, I toss up sacrilegious, I promise that’s insane. Too young to know the symbols, the no-menclature of some traffic signs, but I know this: the Baptists don’t believe in second coming unless it’s Jesus. Her Nana’s not Jesus & I sure won’t be a witch, though next summer the heat tried to burn us both alive: I watched the barn swallows circle the porch fan when I couldn’t sleep, the barn swallows became my father as he left again / got “clean” in Georgia, & I watched too many musicals on the sky blue carpeted floor. I prayed & prayed that even though I failed the promise pledge at Camp Bluebird that summer, that even though I lurched forward in the pew a little late, too late, the only one not standing with the Lord of anti-fags & anti-sex in the pre-pubescent congregation, I prayed that maybe then I’d be an Angel voted most likely to be the anti-christ & they were wrong, I prayed if nothing else I’d become a cardinal or a bluebird perching near the heaven I can’t get in anymore & now I’m tired, tired from the image of 

a faggutguttermouth 
the built-in infrastructure 
of the spit or swallow spit, 
the hock one at the passing 
car or swallow slur they sent 

faggutguttermouth
whose tongue leak no one needs 
to see those thighs whose passing
car swerves round us crying 
about strapless dress & we should pass 
like whose-the-fuck-we-look-like, 
man made in thine image, whose                    

face is pooling in the mud 
under a concrete overpass
whose narcis’ puddle trickles 
down into this city’s intricate
constructed drainage system 

faggutguttermouth
whose fist knocks at my bedroom window whose threatening to post my thigh 
high in the air ass on the internet whose threatening to call the cops on the dildo 
in the living room whose fist on the glass is a bluebird seeing a bluebird’s reflection
whose trying hard to talk-smack-follow bluebird mirrored feathers couldn’t 
 

shatter the barrier between our mirrored wings

 

image: Dorothy Chan


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