2 Poems

The Inquisition Rack


Worse than loving you
is pretending not to.
Collar bone trench war,
navel battle, nape
of neck. Can I lick
your shoulder blade?
Cut off my tongue
to spite my voice?
Stretch me over
the Inquisition rack
of ribs, tighten at
one end, my bones
pop and crack
at the other. I’m
strung out on your
syllables—the ones
and twos like sudden
snaps, sniper’s shot
gasp of breath,
dot dot dot.
The difference between
checking a pulse
and murder is a matter
of the pressure
applied when we’re
at each other’s



Catholic Guilt


How did we relegate
the ampersand to the expletive?
Was the ‘U’ in ‘fuck’ not far enough
removed from actual fucking?
I need a new symbol.
Yours is obscene.
I want to pretend not to know
what you mean. But
the ampersand remind me
of the cursive ‘S,’ which makes
me think of snakes,
Original Sin and, in turn,
the penis (namely, my own).
Then I remember all I want is to fSck
you, but I’m not sure I can.
When you take out the vowel
all we have left are clicks,
hisses, white noise kisses,
the whispers of Hell
in our heads.


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