Ryan Bollenbach: Two Poems

sometimes the word for tender isn’t tender

there is a knife
in the dishrack,
sharp, facing the open

kitchen. i take the blade
in my palm.
a hawk

claws inside a river.
i feel buzzing
in the wetness

of skin, a bright lamp
near death.
wrap a clean body

in a blanket,
tuck fibers into skin,
crevasses. a single eggshell aches

open. the knife
slices avocado
into shapes. eyebrows

easily into your palm.
skin is an organ pushing.
here is a knife

in the dishrack, face
open. i do not
cut myself against wet

skin susceptible
to phantoms, the edge
of the knife,

another body’s border,
the eye splits,
a peach.

here is water boiling.
i hold
your hand, you hold mine.

our fingernails grow
the same length,
arcing down the flats

of our palms.
here is a knife,
its face eyeing open

the kitchen air.
love is contingent like light.

love is overhead,
a fixture.

 

sometimes the word for tender isn’t tender

and a violin strike can be cold like air
strings shimmer your hair
and your pup pops you in your raw nose with her snout

out of love   it still stings

 

 

***

Ryan Bollenbach is a writer with an MFA from University of Alabama’s creative writing program where he formerly served as the poetry editor for Black Warrior Review. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Timber, Colorado Review, smoking glue gun, Heavy Feather Review, and elsewhere. Find his tweets @SilentAsIAm, more writing at whatgreatlarks.tumblr.com.

Image: pinterest.com

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