anniversary (or a collection of metaphors relating two previously unrelated people)

by Mason Hamberlin

i.
give me a knife, so that i may know
how the plastic surgeon works.
maybe trade a few secrets with that guy from 127 Hours,
so i can rearrange the part of my brain that mistakes blade for handle.
look at my hands. dont
worry—ive got two.

i once had a teacher
who taught me Johnnie Walker has two uses:
1) cut it with cola
or 2) be honest. help me burn these closeted bodies,
because id lie to say my skeletons didnt have curves:
one less rib, support from some thigh bones,
parts of the shin, the ones strung like a bow.

i know youve known,
the way Adam knew Eve and she lost a few teeth—
only to glue them back together.
check below
your left breastbone. because ive seen
how often you lose your keys, and some days
you find yourself sleeping with Satan,
and it takes that teacher from a few lines back to beat you over
the head with a zen garden for you to realize
its some mustached man-child named Stan.
doesnt help we cant walk barefoot anymore.
doesnt help a rain drop smashed the sidewalk.
doesnt help somebody broke bottles
filled with more glass.

ii.
consider the cat
that happens to be allergic to itself.
says, it wants to trade tables with the
cannibal owl, you
know, the cute kind that smiles
as it eats its friends.
and forgets it never liked the taste of feathers.

or, what of monogamy?
you mightve heard it, another word.
seen it dropped like litter
or a mothers two cents.
mah-
nog-
a-
mee

taste it. like coffee and morning
breath. hear it claim to be
a limp noodle with a few working organs.
the same claim that, through the mush and kerosene, kicks
down your door and punches you in the gut—
all while you smile, saying,
please, please, please buy my mix tape.

that goes something like this:

you ask why i always look like im about to cry.
i say, no, dear, im fine. ive just made this face for too long.
you ask why i moved my bed.
i say, the butterflies in my stomach are doing cocaine.
you ask what im thinking.
i say, i don’t write love poems.

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