My body is a bunker, or love in the time of air raid
This is where you hide out if the radiation rakes
the ground clean or strangers on the street reveal themselves
as the monsters we have always suspected
In the safe gut of ground and reinforced steel,
no one minds the unswept floor, the mismatched face.
When the bombs pass, when the fighting is over,
you can leave again. There is no use for defense
in the quiet, when there is all this pretty that survives.
You have loved before—breakable boys,
ribcages protruding like an atrocity.
They forget to eat most days and can fit
in tight spaces, which is to say they will survive
through apocalyptic famine.
I cannot help my stockpile,
my unwieldy bulk. I am constantly in preparation for the worst,
for what can only end in destruction and crumble. Tomorrow,
this body halo of fat will come in handy. Tomorrow, my weight
will hold the door closed from the incoming zombies,
instead of the worry of crushing you in sleep
tomorrow, instead of rank after three flights of stairs, I am a spaceheater
in a powerless world.
I will rename myself safehouse // even in peacetime, you are welcome.
My girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend
texts her at work, letting her know
he’s writing a play about her. He says
there’s a first draft and everything
and I resist the urge to find him,
read the script without critiquing it,
and smash his forehead into
his refurbished antique mahogany desk
27 times to, you know, get started
on that everything. “NO ONE IS ALLOWED
TO WRITE ABOUT HER BUT ME,” I roar,
a Hulk who composes his own script.
Smash. 28 times.
What I Wrote About During My 16 Month Relationship
Instead Of The Girl I Was With At The Time
- My body
- Erie, Pennsylvania; the rust that collects in that larynx
- a girl in high school with copper wire hair
- how she never loved me back
- my mom, sharpshooter
- my dad, saloon-style doors
- twin brother and I, mismatched socks paired out of cold feet
- my body, again
- how she complains about me not writing about her
- the swift catch of ice on windshield
- what I imagine playing a banjo would be like
- whiskey and the dirt
I always thought it would be the highest honor
if anyone ever thought to write about me.
I have spent so many ink stains and wrist cramps
demonstrating my adoration for what no one else would:
my widening stomach, the timber of my great-grandfather’s truck.
As if I deserved that treatment, broken down and reconstructed
with gold lacquering the cracks, an understanding that the work
is more beautiful when broken. I want to be read like a map,
chartered through, a topography of me to be explored. I stretch
in all cardinal directions, and a finger pushes my flesh.
There. I want to go there.
Eric Silver is a poet from New York City by way of the suburbs. He loves muffins, high tops, and pairing cardigans with anything. He is a terible speller.