Three Poems by Tyler Friend

And You

We took the arm

down off the shelf,

softly creeping

everyone the fuck out.

It was holding

a pack of cigarettes, still.

Cloves, and that’s not even the most disturbing thing.

Last night, I dreamt about her

and her and him

and you

and you

were the one

not kissing me.

She said that when she drinks

she feels heat pouring into her left breast,

like tequila turning over in bed and leaving

an impression. Can you hear me?

Dear goddess, can you hear me now?

I just want to thank you for your patronage.

The Elms

after H.D.

O be we

always we, we red wind

and salt marsh. We

we wood-flowers, we

wood-grass. We pine-hills and

we bramble-fruit hair: we

as buried roots and acorn-cups. We—

we green from green, we thickets,

we ankles and earth, us—

the feel of between, we. We tree-resin, sweat

sweet to the taste. We enchanted

tufts of love, we.


You were soaked in sugar water when you were a baby, sprinkled

with cinnamon. Now you’re starting to ferment ephemeral, you.

You’ve created yourself, a little ocean. You wash your hair on Wednesdays

and Saturdays. You beat me up with your mouth, my favorite bruise, my favorite hue.

You’re the Mario Kart queen, cheesecake-sweet cheeks, cozy lips, biting hips:

wine-drinking fiend, a menthol-free Stefani dream, a lavender lover.

You think my crazy is cute, call me a kiwi, like the bird, like

no longer an ugly duckling, like transformed, don’t

mention the scars, just kiss them. Your kisses

are gonna give me cavities. You’re just too damn sweet.

Your lips are warm, like a fish tank. Like an aquarium. Yum. You

tell me I’m beautiful and I manage to say thank you. You say, thank you

for saying thank you. We’re both very thankful here, thank you very much.

Tyler Friend is (a) an apricot/human hybrid; (b) from Tennessee; (c) the author of Ampersonate; (d) avoiding choosing a preferred pronoun.

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