Good Boys

By MEGAN FERNANDES

Once in a car, a good boy
shook me hard. If you like it
that way in bed, then why are you…
the tiny bruises on my arms
where his prints pressed into my pink
sleeves rose to the surface like rattles.
Like requests. They thrived there
for a week until they settled
into a wet blackness.
A bruise can sweeten your blood,
can bloom the sweetness into you.
A bruise can bloom rabbits like pines.
Once in a car, everything between us
started growing. And then I was not
in the car or the state
or the east coast anymore.
I was at the summit of a prayer
reeling from an animal mouth,
my tongue an unseeable act,
because, here is the truth:
Even the good boys
want to shake you down, want to come
in your mouth and hair, want to quake
above you if only
for a moment. Come home.
Come home, another good boy says.
I would never shake you. I would never
do anything to your body.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

Megan Fernandes has work published or forthcoming in Rattle, Guernica, PANK, The Denver Quarterly, The Boston Review, The Adroit Journal, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among many others. Her book, The Kingdom and After, was published in 2015. She is an assistant professor of English at Lafayette College and lives in New York City.

Good Boys

Related Posts

textured sand

January 2022 Poetry Feature

MADELEINE MORI
A. and I were both hurt by that cold, hard change, / the snap of my leg bones. / I saw the root in the trail as a swag-bellied dog / with a cape I wanted to support— / both dog and sneaker flying as one. / When they came, Search and Rescue’s tools unbent my pain.

headshot of Elvira Hernandez

Translation: Poems by Elvira Hernández

ELVIRA HERNÁNDEZ
nowhere / anywhere / would poets meet dressed as beacons / if their mirrors were not fogged / if their mirrors were not fogged / they would have seen the mandorla set sail / perhaps at this hour they are filing claims /to recover their lost luggage / agreed: that’s not the teide

blackbird upon a puddle

Translation: Poetry by Esther Ramón

ESTHER RAMÓN
Two of those brief animals / that populated the branches / and the furniture made useless / by humidity and neglect. / They were separated / From time that burns as it passes, / from this insignificance, / from the feeding cycle, / my desires in the shredded remains