Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mr. Grumpledump’s Song by Shel Siverstein


Mr. Grumpledump’s Song
 
Everything’s wrong,
Days are too long,
Sunshine’s too hot,
Wind is too strong.
Clouds are too fluffy,
Grass is too green,
Ground is too dusty,
Sheets are too clean.
Stars are too twinkly,
Moon is too high,
Water’s too drippy,
Sand is too dry.
Rocks are too heavy,
Feathers too light,
Kids are too noisy,
Shoes are too tight.
Folks are too happy,
Singin’ their songs.
Why can’t they see it?
Everything’s wrong! 

 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Oppenheim’s Cup and Saucer by Carol Ann Duffy


Oppenheim’s Cup and Saucer
 
She asked me to luncheon in fur. Far from
the loud laughter of men, our secret life stirred.
 
I remember her eyes, the slim rope of her spine.
This is your cup, she whispered, and this mine.
 
We drank the sweet hot liquid and talked dirty.
As she undressed me, her breasts were a mirror
 
and there were mirrors in the bed. She said Place
your legs around my neck, that's right. Yes.

 

The End by Mark Strand


The End

Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like
When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, there at the end,
Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he’ll never go back.

When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
No longer appear, not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.
When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky

Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Evening Walk by Charles Simić


Evening Walk

You give the appearance of listening 
To my thoughts, O trees, 
Bent over the road I am walking 
On a late summer evening 
When every one of you is a steep staircase 
The night is slowly descending.

The high leaves like my mother’s lips 
Forever trembling, unable to decide, 
For there’s a bit of wind, 
And it’s like hearing voices, 
Or a mouth full of muffled laughter, 
A huge dark mouth we can all fit in 
Suddenly covered by a hand.

Everything quiet. Light 
Of some other evening strolling ahead, 
Long-ago evening of silk dresses, 
Bare feet, hair unpinned and falling. 
Happy heart, what heavy steps you take 
As you follow after them in the shadows.

The sky at the road’s end cloudless and blue. 
The night birds like children 
Who won’t come to dinner. 
Lost children in the darkening woods.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summertime by Derrick Austin


Summertime

A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning
Porgy and Bess. Granddad sang the old blues tune.
I told him my name. The water was burning

when we went to the coast, green and churning
like collards in the kitchen. It was June.
A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning.

He took worm-colored pills at ten in the morning,
sometimes he wandered off. I’d find him at noon,
streets away, calling my name. Water was burning

from Gulf Breeze to Grand Isle, the Gulf swirling
like vinyl. Egrets blackened the bayou.
A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning

when we watched the news in the nursing
home: men in white scanned the dunes.
I told him my name, that the water was burning.

He looked through my eyes and sang fish are jumpin. . .
I said his name, washed his feet, left the room.
A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning.
I told him my name. The water was burning.

 

The Fury of Sunsets by Anne Sexton


The Fury of Sunsets

Something 
cold is in the air, 
an aura of ice 
and phlegm. 
All day I've built 
a lifetime and now 
the sun sinks to 
undo it. 
The horizon bleeds 
and sucks its thumb. 
The little red thumb 
goes out of sight. 
And I wonder about 
this lifetime with myself, 
this dream I'm living. 
I could eat the sky 
like an apple 
but I'd rather 
ask the first star: 
why am I here? 
why do I live in this house? 
who's responsible? 
eh?

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Swimming by Carl Phillips


Swimming

Some nights, I rise from the latest excuse for
Why not stay awhile, usually that hour when
the coyotes roam the streets as if they’ve always
owned the place and had come back inspecting now
for damage. But what hasn’t been damaged? History
here means a history of storms rushing the trees
for so long, their bowed shapes seem a kind of star—
worth trusting, I mean, as in how the helmsman,
steering home, knows what star to lean on. Do
people, anymore, even say helmsman? Everything
in waves, or at least wave-like, as when another’s
suffering, being greater, displaces our own, or
I understand it should, which is meant to be
different, I’m sure of it, from that pleasure
Lucretius speaks of, in witnessing from land
a ship foundering at sea, though more and more
it all seems related. I love the nights here. I love
the jetty’s black ghost-finger, how it calms
the harbor, how the fog hanging stranded just
above the water is fog, finally, not the left-behind
parts of those questions from which I half-wish
I could school my mind, desperate cargo,
to keep a little distance. An old map from when
this place was first settled shows monsters
everywhere, once the shore gives out—it can still
feel like that: I dive in, and they rise like faithfulness
itself, watery pallbearers heading seaward, and
I the raft they steady. It seems there’s no turning back.

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When Lisa Told Me by Roberto Bolaño


When Lisa Told Me

When Lisa told me she’d made love
to someone else, in that old Tepeyac warehouse
phone booth, I thought my world
was over. A tall, skinny guy with
long hair and a long cock who didn’t wait
more than one date to penetrate her deep.
It’s nothing serious, she said, but it’s
the best way to get you out of my life. 
Parménides García Saldaña had long hair and 
could have been Lisa’s lover, but some
years later I found out he’d died in a psych ward
or killed himself. Lisa didn’t want to 
sleep with losers anymore. Sometimes I dream
of her and see her happy and cold in a Mexico
drawn by Lovecraft. We listened to music
(Canned Heat, one of Parménides García Saldaña’s
favorite bands) and then we made
love three times. First, he came inside me, 
then he came in my mouth, and the third time, barely
a thread of water, a short fishing line, between my breasts. And all
in two hours, said Lisa. The worst two hours of my life, 
I said from the other end of the phone.

(Translated by Laura Healy)  

 

Dead Butterfly by Ellen Bass


Dead Butterfly 

For months my daughter carried 
a dead monarch in a quart mason jar. 
To and from school in her backpack, 
to her only friend’s house. At the dinner table 
it sat like a guest alongside the pot roast. 
She took it to bed, propped by her pillow.

Was it the year her brother was born? 
Was this her own too-fragile baby 
that had lived—so briefly—in its glassed world? 
Or the year she refused to go to her father’s house? 
Was this the holding-her-breath girl she became there?

This plump child in her rolled-down socks 
I sometimes wanted to haul back inside me 
and carry safe again. What was her fierce 
commitment? I never understood. 
We just lived with the dead winged thing 
as part of her, as part of us, 
weightless in its heavy jar.

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lullaby by Ilya Kaminsky


Lullaby

Little daughter
rainwater-

snow and branches protect you
white-washed wall—

and neighbors’ hands, also
child of my Aprils

little earth of
six pounds—

my white hair
keeps your sleep lit.

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

We Should Make a Documentary About Spades by Terrance Hayes


We Should Make a Documentary About Spades

And here is all we’ll need: a card deck, quartets of sun people
Of the sort found in black college dormitories, some vintage
Music, indiscriminate spirits, fried chicken, some paper,

A writing utensil, and a bottomless Saturday. We should explore
The origins of a derogatory word like spade as well as the word
For feeling alone in polite company. And also the implications
Of calling someone who is not your brother or sister,

Brother or Sister. So little is known of our past, we can imagine
Damn near anything. When I say maybe slaves held Spades
Tournaments on the anti-cruise ships bound for the Colonies,
You say when our ancestors were cooped on those ships

They were not yet slaves. Our groundbreaking film should begin
With a low-lit den in the Deep South and the deep fried voice
Of somebody’s grandmother holding smoke in her mouth
As she says, “The two of Diamonds trumps the two of Spades

In my house.” And at some point someone should tell the story
Where Jesus and the devil are Spades partners traveling
The juke joints of the 1930s. We could interview my uncle Junior
And definitely your skinny cousin Mary and any black man

Sitting at a card table wearing shades. Who do you suppose
Would win if Booker T and MLK were matched against Du Bois
And Malcolm X in a game of Spades? You say don’t talk
Across the table. Pay attention to the suits being played.

The object of the game is to communicate invisibly
With your teammate. I should concentrate. Do you suppose
We are here because we are lonely in some acute diasporafied
Way? This should be explored in our film about Spades.

Because it is one of the ways I am still learning what it is
To be black, tonight I am ready to master Spades. Four players
Bid a number of books. Each team adds the bids
Of the two partners, and the total is the number of books

That team must try to win. Is that not right? This is a game
That tests the boundary between mathematics and magic,
If you ask me. A bid must be intuitive like the itchiness
Of the your upper lip before you sip strange whiskey.

My mother did not drink, which is how I knew something
Was wrong with her, but she held a dry spot at the table
When couples came to play. It’s a scene from my history,
But this probably should not be mentioned in our documentary

About Spades. Renege is akin to the word for the shame
You feel watching someone else’s humiliation. Slapping
A card down must be as dramatic as hitting the face of a drum
With your palm, not hitting the face of a drum with a drumstick.

You say there may be the sort of outrage induced
By liquor, trash talk, and poor strategy, but it will fade
The way a watermark left on a table by a cold glass fades.
I suspect winning this sort of game makes you feel godly.

I’m good and ready for who ever we’re playing
Against tonight. I am trying to imagine our enemy.
I know you are not my enemy. You say there are no enemies
In Spades. Spades is a game our enemies do not play.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Truant by Margaret Hasse


Truant
 
Our high school principal wagged his finger
over two manila folders
lying on his desk, labeled with our names—
my boyfriend and me—
called to his office for skipping school.
 
The day before, we ditched Latin and world history
to chase shadows of clouds on a motorcycle.
We roared down rolling asphalt roads
through the Missouri River bottoms
beyond town, our heads emptied
of review tests and future plans.
 
We stopped on a dirt lane to hear
a meadowlark’s liquid song, smell
heart-break blossom of wild plum.
Beyond leaning fence posts and barbwire,
a tractor drew straight lines across the field
unfurling its cape of blackbirds.
 
Now forty years after that geography lesson
in spring, I remember the principal’s words.
How right he was in saying:
This will be part of
your permanent record.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Prescription by Franz Wright


Prescription

While you lie in bed
watching the movie
of every last terrible
thing you have done, you

consider with high admiration
and envy the one
of unscared face
and conscience come

with his own slip of paper
proclaiming
bearer’s incontrovertible
privilege to sleep,

to ask
and receive it
right now
by sidereal name.

 

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Weighing by Jane Hirshfield


The Weighing

The heart’s reasons
seen clearly,
even the hardest
will carry
its whip-marks and sadness
and must be forgiven.

As the drought-starved
eland forgives
the drought-starved lion
who finally takes her,
enters willingly then
the life she cannot refuse,
and is lion, is fed,
and does not remember the other.

So few grains of happiness
measured against all the dark
and still the scales balance.

The world asks of us
only the strength we have and we give it.
Then it asks more, and we give it.

 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Prayers or Oubliettes by Natalie Diaz


Prayers or Oubliettes

1
Despair has a loose daughter.
I lay with her and read the body’s bones
like stories. I can tell you the year-long myth
of her hips, how I numbered stars,
the abacus of her mouth.

2
The sheets are berserk with wind’s riddling.
All the beds of the past cannot dress the ghosts
at my table. Their breasts rest on plates
like broken goblets whose rims I once thirsted at.
Instead of grace, we rattle forks
in our empty bowls.

3
We are the muezzins of the desert
crying out like mockers from memory’s
violet towers. We scour the earth
as Isis did. Fall is forever here—
women’s dresses wrinkle
on the ground, men fall to their knees
in heaps, genitals rotting like spent fruit—
even our roots fall from the soil.

4
The world has tired of tears.
We weep owls now. They live longer.
They know their way in the dark.

5
Unfasten your cage of teeth and tongue.
The taste of a thousand moths is chalk.
The mottled wings are the words to pain.

6
We have no mazel tov.
We call out for our mothers
with empty wine jugs at our heels.

 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Semi-Splendid by Tracy K. Smith


Semi-Splendid

You flinch. Something flickers, not fleeing your face. My
Heart hammers at the ceiling, telling my tongue
To turn it down. Too late. The something climbs, leaps, is
Falling now across us like the prank of an icy, brainy
Lord. I chose the wrong word. I am wrong for not choosing
Merely to smile, to pull you toward me and away from
What you think of as that other me, who wanders lost among ...    
Among whom? The many? The rare? I wish you didn’t care.

I watch you watching her. Her very shadow is a rage
That trashes the rooms of your eyes. Do you claim surprise
At what she wants, the poor girl, pelted with despair,
Who flits from grief to grief? Isn’t it you she seeks? And
If you blame her, know that she blames you for choosing
Not her, but me. Love is never fair. But do we — should we — care?

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Monk’s Insomnia by Denis Johnson


The Monk’s Insomnia
 
The monastery is quiet.  Seconal
drifts down upon it from the moon.
I can see the lights
of the city I came from,
can remember how a boy sets out
like something thrown from the furnace
of a star.  In the conflagration of memory
my people sit on green benches in the park,
terrified, evil, broken by love—
to sit with them inside that invisible fire
of hours day after day while the shadow of the milk
billboard crawled across the street
seemed impossible, but how
was it different from here,
where they have one day they play over
and over as if they think
it is our favorite, and we stay
for our natural lives,
a phrase that conjures up the sun’s
dark ash adrift after ten billion years
of unconsolable burning?  Brother Thomas’
schoolgirl obsession with the cheap
doings of TV starlets breaks
everybody’s heart, and the yellow sap
of one particular race of cactus grows
tragic for the fascination in which
it imprisons Brother Toby—I can’t witness
his slavering and relating how it can be changed
into some unprecedented kind of plastic—
and the monastery refuses
to say where it is taking us.  At night
we hear the trainers from the base
down there, and see them blotting out the stars,
and I stand on the hill and listen, bone-white with desire.
It was love that sent me on the journey,
love that called me home.  But it’s terror
of being just one person—one chance, one set of days—
that keeps me absolutely still and makes me listen
intently to those young men above us
flying in their airplanes in the dark. 

 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Apple Trees at Olema by Robert Hass


The Apple Trees at Olema

They are walking in the woods along the coast
and in a grassy meadow, wasting, they come upon
two old neglected apple trees. Moss thickened
every bough and the wood of the limbs looked rotten
but the trees were wild with blossom and a green fire
of small new leaves flickered even on the deadest branches.
Blue-eyes, poppies, a scattering of lupine
flecked the meadow, and an intricate, leopard-spotted
leaf-green flower whose name they didn’t know.
Trout lily, he said; she said, adder’s-tongue.
She is shaken by the raw, white, backlit flaring
of the apple blossoms. He is exultant,
as if some thing he felt were verified,
and looks to her to mirror his response.
If it is afternoon, a thin moon of my own dismay
fades like a scar in the sky to the east of them.
He could be knocking wildly at a closed door
in a dream. She thinks, meanwhile, that moss
resembles seaweed drying lightly on a dock.
Torn flesh, it was the repetitive torn flesh
of appetite in the cold white blossoms
that had startled her. Now they seem tender
and where she was repelled she takes the measure
of the trees and lets them in. But he no longer
has the apple trees. This is as sad or happy
as the tide, going out or coming in, at sunset.
The light catching in the spray that spumes up
on the reef is the color of the lesser finch
they notice now flashing dull gold in the light
above the field. They admire the bird together,
it draws them closer, and they start to walk again.
A small boy wanders corridors of a hotel that way.
Behind one door, a maid. Behind another one, a man
in striped pajamas shaving. He holds the number
of his room close to the center of his mind
gravely and delicately, as if it were the key,
and then he wanders among strangers all he wants.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Thread by Don Paterson


The Thread 

Jamie made his landing in the world 
so hard he ploughed straight back into the earth. 
They caught him by the thread of his one breath 
and pulled him up. They don't know how it held. 
And so today I thank what higher will 
brought us to here, to you and me and Russ,
the great twin-engined swaying wingspan of us 
roaring down the back of Kirrie Hill 

and your two-year-old lungs somehow out-revving 
every engine in the universe. 
All that trouble just to turn up dead 
was all I thought that long week. Now the thread 
is holding all of us: look at our tiny house, 
son, the white dot of your mother waving.

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

from The Uses of The Body by Deborah Landau


from The Uses of The Body


Before you have kids,
you get a dog.

Then when you get a baby,
you wait for the dog to die.

When the dog dies,
it’s a relief.

When your babies aren’t babies,
you want a dog again.

The uses of the body,
you see where they end.

But we are only in the middle,
only mid-way.

The organs growing older in their plush pockets
ticking toward the wearing out.

We are here and soon won’t be
(despite the cozy bed stuffed dog pillows books clock).

The boy with his socks on and pajamas.
A series of accidental collisions.

Pressure in the chest. Everyone breathing
for now, in and out, all night.

These sad things, they have to be.
I go into the kitchen thinking to sweeten myself.

Boiled eggs won’t do a thing.
Oysters. Lysol. Peanut butter. Gin.

Big babyface, getting fed.
I am twenty. I am thirty. I am forty years old.

A friend said Listen,
you have to try to calm down.

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

At the Palais Garnier by Richie Hofmann


At the Palais Garnier
 
We always arrived late,
     sometimes in masks. You wore a sword
at your side. The heads that watched
     our little pageant were busts of the great composers
and not men lined up for the executions.
     The style was Second Empire,
but the Empire had already fallen
     by the time the façade was finished.
The casts changed seasonally
     like our lovers. I remember,
through black lace fans, Hänsel & Gretl
     eating a garish cake in the darkness.
We covered our mouths
     when we laughed at the children trapped
in the house of sweets. We ate cake at intermission
     in order to stay awake.

 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Horns by Kwame Dawes


Horns

In every crowd, there is the one
with horns, casually moving through
the bodies as if this is the living

room of a creature with horns,
a long cloak and the song of tongues
on the lips of the body. To see

the horns, one’s heart rate must
reach one hundred and seventy
five beats per minute, at a rate

faster than the blink of an eye,
for the body with horns lives
in the space between the blink

and light — slow down the blink
and somewhere in the white space
between sight and sightlessness

is twilight, and in that place,
that gap, the stop-time, the horn-
headed creatures appear,

spinning, dancing, strolling
through the crowd; and in the
fever of revelation, you will

understand why the shaman
is filled with the hubris
of creation, why the healer

forgets herself and feels like
angels about to take flight.
My head throbs under

the mosquito mesh, the drums
do not stop through the night,
the one with horns feeds

me sour porridge and nuts
and sways, Welcome, welcome.

 

Ode to Magic by Bob Hicok


Ode to Magic

Do the one where you bring the woman
back from the dead, his host, the king, commanded,
but the magician would not.

He did the one in which he was one half
of the folk-indie duo Heartwind.

He did the one that required a volunteer tornado
from the audience.

He did the one in which the lungs of a warlord
are filled with lava.

But he would not bring the woman back from the dead.

The king wanted to cut his head off
but the queen said, Perhaps this is just a poem.
This is just a poem.

Everyone is alive as long as the poem is alive.

The king wears a crown of a thousand crows.

The queen keeps three lovers inside the castle
of her dress, the third a spare for the second,
the second a technical advisor to the first.

The magician’s tongue is nothing but the word
abracadabra and the dead woman has just written
cotton candy on her shopping list, just written
antelopes and reminded the poet
he is running out of things to say.

The queen asks him, Do the one in which your heart
is folded over and pounded with moonlight,
in which you claim to miss everything —
I like how big your arms are in that one,
your throat the size of the universe
before silence gets the last word.

Oh, that one, the poet says, is this one,
is the only one.

Listen to it sound like shucked corn,
like a single blade of grass eating sun,
like any train or noisemaker or hallelujah
that will keep this line from being
the last line, and this line
but not the coming line, the hush,
the crush it is.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rape Joke by Patricia Lockwood


Rape Joke

The rape joke is that you were 19 years old.

The rape joke is that he was your boyfriend.

The rape joke it wore a goatee. A goatee.

Imagine the rape joke looking in the mirror, perfectly reflecting back itself, and grooming itself to look more like a rape joke. “Ahhhh,” it thinks. “Yes. A goatee.”

No offense.

The rape joke is that he was seven years older. The rape joke is that you had known him for years, since you were too young to be interesting to him. You liked that use of the word interesting, as if you were a piece of knowledge that someone could be desperate to acquire, to assimilate, and to spit back out in different form through his goateed mouth.

Then suddenly you were older, but not very old at all.

The rape joke is that you had been drinking wine coolers. Wine coolers! Who drinks wine coolers? People who get raped, according to the rape joke.

The rape joke is he was a bouncer, and kept people out for a living.

Not you!

The rape joke is that he carried a knife, and would show it to you, and would turn it over and over in his hands as if it were a book.

He wasn’t threatening you, you understood. He just really liked his knife.

The rape joke is he once almost murdered a dude by throwing him through a plate-glass window. The next day he told you and he was trembling, which you took as evidence of his sensitivity.

How can a piece of knowledge be stupid? But of course you were so stupid.

The rape joke is that sometimes he would tell you you were going on a date and then take you over to his best friend Peewee’s house and make you watch wrestling while they all got high.

The rape joke is that his best friend was named Peewee.

OK, the rape joke is that he worshiped The Rock.

Like the dude was completely in love with The Rock. He thought it was so great what he could do with his eyebrow.

The rape joke is he called wrestling “a soap opera for men.” Men love drama too, he assured you.

The rape joke is that his bookshelf was just a row of paperbacks about serial killers. You mistook this for an interest in history, and laboring under this misapprehension you once gave him a copy of Günter Grass’s My Century, which he never even tried to read.

It gets funnier.

The rape joke is that he kept a diary. I wonder if he wrote about the rape in it.

The rape joke is that you read it once, and he talked about another girl. He called her Miss Geography, and said “he didn’t have those urges when he looked at her anymore,” not since he met you. Close call, Miss Geography!

The rape joke is that he was your father’s high-school student — your father taught World Religion. You helped him clean out his classroom at the end of the year, and he let you take home the most beat-up textbooks.

The rape joke is that he knew you when you were 12 years old. He once helped your family move two states over, and you drove from Cincinnati to St. Louis with him, all by yourselves, and he was kind to you, and you talked the whole way. He had chaw in his mouth the entire time, and you told him he was disgusting and he laughed, and spat the juice through his goatee into a Mountain Dew bottle.

The rape joke is that come on, you should have seen it coming. This rape joke is practically writing itself.

The rape joke is that you were facedown. The rape joke is you were wearing a pretty green necklace that your sister had made for you. Later you cut that necklace up. The mattress felt a specific way, and your mouth felt a specific way open against it, as if you were speaking, but you know you were not. As if your mouth were open ten years into the future, reciting a poem called Rape Joke.

The rape joke is that time is different, becomes more horrible and more habitable, and accommodates your need to go deeper into it.

Just like the body, which more than a concrete form is a capacity.

You know the body of time is elastic, can take almost anything you give it, and heals quickly.


The rape joke is that of course there was blood, which in human beings is so close to the surface.

The rape joke is you went home like nothing happened, and laughed about it the next day and the day after that, and when you told people you laughed, and that was the rape joke.

It was a year before you told your parents, because he was like a son to them. The rape joke is that when you told your father, he made the sign of the cross over you and said, “I absolve you of your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” which even in its total wrongheadedness, was so completely sweet.

The rape joke is that you were crazy for the next five years, and had to move cities, and had to move states, and whole days went down into the sinkhole of thinking about why it happened. Like you went to look at your backyard and suddenly it wasn’t there, and you were looking down into the center of the earth, which played the same red event perpetually.

The rape joke is that after a while you weren’t crazy anymore, but close call, Miss Geography.

The rape joke is that for the next five years all you did was write, and never about yourself, about anything else, about apples on the tree, about islands, dead poets and the worms that aerated them, and there was no warm body in what you wrote, it was elsewhere.

The rape joke is that this is finally artless. The rape joke is that you do not write artlessly.

The rape joke is if you write a poem called Rape Joke, you’re asking for it to become the only thing people remember about you.

The rape joke is that you asked why he did it. The rape joke is he said he didn’t know, like what else would a rape joke say? The rape joke said YOU were the one who was drunk, and the rape joke said you remembered it wrong, which made you laugh out loud for one long split-open second. The wine coolers weren’t Bartles & Jaymes, but it would be funnier for the rape joke if they were. It was some pussy flavor, like Passionate Mango or Destroyed Strawberry, which you drank down without question and trustingly in the heart of Cincinnati Ohio.

Can rape jokes be funny at all, is the question.

Can any part of the rape joke be funny. The part where it ends — haha, just kidding! Though you did dream of killing the rape joke for years, spilling all of its blood out, and telling it that way.

The rape joke cries out for the right to be told.

The rape joke is that this is just how it happened.

The rape joke is that the next day he gave you Pet Sounds. No really. Pet Sounds. He said he was sorry and then he gave you Pet Sounds. Come on, that’s a little bit funny.

Admit it.