9.6 / June 2014

Two Poems

Tell Me It Happens

You can push my knees down into the mud,
             put your fingers around my neck so tight
but I’d much prefer to be the stud.

I’ll bite the sides of your breasts until you come.
             Wrists in restraints, your lips stained with wine.
Still, you can push my knees down into the mud.

Put your fingers around my neck so tight,
             position me on the bed like a chalk outline.
(But I’ll still get to be the stud).

Wrists in restraints your lips turn white.
             I taste sewing needles on your thighs.
Should’ve pushed my knees down into the mud.

I taste your outline, needle your thighs.
             If I tighten the clamps on your breasts
will you hold my hand and call me stud?

I know it’s a sin but tell me it happens:
             locked limbs in a pit rich with tar.
If we’re both on down on our knees in the mud,
             sewn together than who’s the stud?

        Note: The italicized line in this poem is from the song “Kiss and Swallow” by IAMX.

When my long-distance girlfriend tells me I am filling my house with the detritus of

I tell her bones I can hold
in my hand are almost as good
as the bones in her wrist
I can feel through her skin.

I tell her she is not here
to kiss me but I can line up
the broken shark teeth in a row
on my mantle and think
of how they were lost.

I tell her that we shed
our memories like cells,
that the snakeskin
in my drawer is one reminder.

I tell her I cannot face
this impermanence.

We found wild mushrooms
and left their caps on white paper
to see what impression the spores made.

When we fell asleep outside
waiting for the sunrise,
my head on your shoulder,
you woke up to yourself
running your fingers along my jaw,
whispering death cap, death cap.

Jennifer Hanks is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans. Her work has appeared in journals such as Muzzle Magazine and Word Riot. She is currently working on a poetry series about the Virgin Mary and the zombie apocalypse. You can follow her progress on tumblr: azura09.tumblr.com
9.6 / June 2014