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Back of a Diploma

You’re born, someone sticks an unfolded paperclip into the meat of your eye,
you adjust to your condition, your conditions adjust you, you die horribly.
Like stubbing a cigarette out on your cheek when what you need is to be bathed in napalm.
No amount of nurturing could set the table for what’s to come.
Survival is the only instinct I have retained against my will.
People are just the canvas you paint what you want on
until you can get them to leave. I judge someone’s sanity
by the amount of abstract points they stand by. The more the madder.
True sadism is when you no longer have to intend harm anymore.
What’s sicker, breaking someone’s will or replacing it with God?
A couple is two people talking themselves in and out of suicide.
They’ve gone spelunking into each other’s discharge
and have the audacity to call their failed attempts
at genetic immortality a relationship.
Being falsely accused is a valid excuse to trespass harder.
Can hardly digest my cereal without something to hate.
I’m living proof you can return from hell with an opinion.
The kind of child that plays doctor with the planet.
I watched my family die so many times inside my mind
the whole world looks like a funeral.
I dug up my first girlfriend and ate her pussy so well
her juice returned full force.
Face down in her grave so that ass can engorge the sun.
Like she gave her syphilis a commentary track.
I go after her stool knife and fork.
Hon, your father told me you’re the same
nightmare he whispered into his pants.
I wanna fuck you with the ladder you think you’re on.
You stuck a straw in your cyst
and I’m supposed to think you’re special?
I blew back against the tit as I was breastfed, and, trust me,
many balloons are powered by despair. Say
my piss will scald me if I urinate.
It will sprain my pussy and make me bark at the noise.

Arsenic Head

I became an infant whale gaining extra slabs of body by the hour, wedged into a crumbling bathtub, on some permanent liposuction device failing its operation, screaming in Japanese for a higher dosage of arsenic. I clawed my chest wound in shock, to extract the round, circular sprawl as if in pursuit of the spasm. My head was booted, wincing, to the porcelain, so resistance came at lessening rotations. A buck knife slammed crosswise below my scrotum, yanking upward, both hands on the handle dividing skin in a paling gill that gave and gave, scrotum flipping in distention, testicles riding out freed of either leg, smacked into pools, torn through independent trajectories as sawed rows of intestines flowered beside. Room gouged in my throat helped hoist the digestive system, esophagus to sphincter, puppeteering the gasses, one end to the other, tongue still forming rhymes in the air. I mostly emphasize what I mean through defecation. The only equality is what the sewer sings. We care for you, but we’re not going to tie a ribbon around it. I like being in control of my chemicals.

So Many Dancers

I don’t have enough hemorrhoids to paint your portrait,
but the one I wield could fill a parking garage.
You’re only as immortal as your cinematographer’s competence.
Don’t spit on my cake and call it frosting,
because I’ll eat that too, starting with your mouth.

I don’t make babies, I cause a flood.
Bring me the infant I used to be, eyes wavering on their stalks.
My velveteen testicles give me thumbs down on any greater sentience.
Still, let’s dismiss one into nudity. I feel its teeth coming in yellow.
Someone’s been burning their barf at both ends.
I’m dizzy ever since I laid bacon in utero. Not to challenge the stars,
because I am their footnote, but the vanity of astrology
is it tutors your genitals to behave in 2D.
I will ride your camel toe into muteness.
Point out which of your genes didn’t pass muster.

I set a grade of boundaries based on suicide.
To the person you love, you’re a cameo at best.
If anyone sees who you are and chooses to remain with you,
kill them with their own stilts.

Anyone standing in line was taught how to speak by their circumcision.
We supposed to high five about that our cum works?
I’m just the suppository my ventriloquist dummy backfired.
Nothing more dangerous than a woman who doesn’t know what she wants, or a man who does. Most conversations make me wish I had had SIDS. It appears you resisted your bidet.

Don’t piss in my aquarium and tell the fish it’s vitamins.
Are your lids hooded in solicitous vision because you sense
that you are impervious to your prey?
I have to believe in the future or my bowels will halt.

When I was born, the doctor slit my throat to see if I could talk.
My parents stoked me into gestation with a single teardrop.
You had to stash the rundown on your thigh before it froze. Parents are there to sully the silence.
They indicated height difference throughout childhood by smearing my placenta on a door.
Burial would be redundant for most anyone. People have more style under lava.
We’re a mildew ferns drooled off and regretted.

I praise the sun for holding still. That’s why I only tan in moonlight.
Pagans pick an object as their flaw.
You can track us back to the soot palmed between matter and chronology
and we’d still be sputtering into a duplicate shrug.
As strays go, you made the best-seller list with a capital slut.
I will erase all the typos inside you.
You have been improperly weaned.
When can we exit the snitch age and enter the fatalities age?

If you had anything but a hunk of gauze between your knees,
I would write a fucking essay between the tape.
You put science under a spatula and called it an orgasm.
My rapists have inherited the same mask, the same condom,
not that I deserve protection. Guess Chicken Little won’t survive her enema!
You have no clue if you want to fuck someone, unless you fuck them for a trimester.
If I shit you an ode, it’s for the sake of the ode.


Sean Kilpatrick is from Detroit. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Nerve, VICE, Obsidian, BOMB, Hobart, The Quietus, and elsewhere. He earned his MA from Eastern Michigan University.

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