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I collect teeth—pearly coins

in my hand—& rattle them

to the man selling bananas

at his stand who smiles

a boney smile. The yellow cock

is slightly spotted in my palm—

sugar freckles sewn into its peel—

& I push its insides outward ass-first,

beige shit bursting from its black zit—

I once watched a bear bash the bowels

from a bunny the same way,

like toothpaste from a tube,

saw its bright gumbones biting

through the rabbit’s red rind

bent into bonelessness, could have

mistook it for a slug, a chicken wing,

a skin-suit slung over the back

of a chair by the banana-man

after a long day at the stand,

home to rest his aching innards under

a ceiling skeletoned

by four walls

& 1,4000 bones every month

& all the labor this unpeeled man

puts into tending fruit for fangs

just to pay for another day

under god’s ghastly grin that hangs

like phloem from a phallus in the sky.


I brew chai, pump the new PUP & float

in the harsh guitars & clean screams that flood

this parched apartment, blissful in its bombast.

The kettle whistles from the stove as Stefan Babcock

yalps about another lost love, worried & full of angst

similar to the sounds we once bounced between us,

the songs we used to sing within our small space—

It takes so much lung to fill this air anymore,

as if all these sour words from angry men

could steep anything from my muted mouth.

The record ends & I put on something older—

the vinyl still smudged from your curious thumbs—

& the needle cradles every weighty warble

of our old hum, warming the room

like a ceramic mug in my quiet palm.


Neither number I nor number II

are actually better but I say “I”

because I have tricked myself

into believing this was a test

I could fail. When the doctor

asks me to read the third line

I see R U O K A Y

I say I A M N O T

and he scribbles something somewhere

before staring deeply into me.

Soon after, I am trying on glasses

without my glasses, glancing

into a reflection I cannot recognize.

When I go to pay the kind woman

at the front, the total reads

“I Arm (I Leg will do)”

and in my indecision, I lob

off both before dragging myself

into the sun shining so bright

I can’t see I god damn thing.


after The Leftovers / Simon & Garfunkel

Perhaps this trial is beneath me—

watching Kevin Garvey karaoke “Homeward Bound”

for the upteenth time, understanding myself only

through the tears of a character. I’m run out of town,

a pack of 40 feral dogs & fear, apologizing

for every child I’ve pushed into a well,

for every song I’ve lost the lyrics to. I’m crumpled up,

a DQ cup on the side of I-35 just south of Austin—

there is nothing left to love in Texas. Perhaps

I long to be, in the end, what Nora is

in the end—truth in presence,

realized through a familiar stranger, whose eyes

shine in belief of her quiet joy.


Dear Landlord,

There is a growing concern amongst your tenants

about the mouth in the foyer that won’t stop screaming,

its repellant moans melting through our doors

as we try to blink away our day. We struggle to sleep already—

insomniatic fridges buzzing ice cubes in our brains—

but the boisterous bleating rattles us from any kind of comfort

these four, rented walls can give us. It began innocent enough—

reminders to grab the mail or to tie a shoe,

awkward smiles as we left for our lives but lately it’s cursing

the Amazon drivers, spitting on small children, 204 believes

it was the mouth who let the wolf in last week—curled its slick tongue

around the never-locked knob and buzzed it in to eat our cats. Even stowed away

in the corners of our bedrooms, asbestos and mothballs stuffed

in our ears, it prods insecurities into the back of our eyelids—

Did we turn the oven off? Why are our kitchen floors still not swept? Don’t we know

that the birds upon our powerlines laugh at us back at their nests? We’ve tried fire,

blotted bloody crosses on our door in hopes that it fears some sort of god.

What else can we do? We worry about our teeth. Please send someone soon.


Your Tenant


Andrew Walker lives in Marquette, Michigan where they write poems for grades and take pictures of frozen beaches. Their creative work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Alien Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, Pidgeonholes, HAD, Crack the Spine, and Eckleburg. They also help out the editorial teams for Passages North and Kissing Dynamite. You can find them on Twitter @druwalker94 or on their website,

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