Mariah Hamang


               every town in this suburban state
               has nicknamed its homeless man,
                                                            at least, the conspicuous one.
                              and yes, there are things besides love
               that are unrequited.
                                             you eat food at a franchise
               while you vacation in exotic lands
                                                            selling you coffee mugs and key chains
                              so you don’t quite feel you’ve left home.
                                             you look at the landscape, the mountains,
                                                                           the trees, the coating
                                                            of mist on your lips,
               breathing air where your mothers
                                             before you have breathed air,
                                                            and you think, “I could have seen
                              this in pictures for free.”

                              Boiled Spoons

                                             our poor judgment
               was hidden by earth-toned lips
                                                            wrangled into
                              zodiacal afterglows
               hanging around our dirty socks,
                                                            our gaping collarbones,
                              the stains on our carpet, our couch cushions.
                              the stench of cigarettes
               lingers on our jackets
                                                                           and in the aftermath
                                             we pick our scabs,
                                             we dig into our stash
               as my grandfather dies of emphysema
                              and i give you his ashtray for christmas.

                                             Anthropological Cannibalism

                                                            i have met my ancestors.
                              they spoke
                              in colloquialisms
                              i couldn’t stomach,
                                             although it sounded important.
               here we have
               another cop
               with a god complex
                                                                           sleeping soundly
                                                                           or playing frisbee
                                                            with handcuffed hippies.
                              i am a child predator
                                             because i love the way
                                             the meat falls off the bone.
                              it was you
                                             who stiffed me
               tips on midnights,
                              all of you.
                                             i was certain
                                                            we would continue the tradition
                                             of vomitoriums.
                              i thought of you, of someone else,
                              my back arched
               while he whispered
                                                            “i can smell your pheromones.”
               i am my own ethnography.
               We have reached a consensus
                                                            concerning your stigma.
                                             i do tai chi
                              to death metal,
                                                            In a high school english class
                                                            somewhere nearby,
                                             there is a student,
               unfortunately american,
                                                            who is thinking
                              “poetry is dead.”

Mariah Hamang is an undergraduate student at Indiana University Northwest pursuing an English B.A. with a minor in Anthropology. She is nineteen years old and in her junior year of study.
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