A tipsy guest
shared a story
about her seventh
birthday when Alexis,
her terrier, neutered
but possessed of phantom
horniness ran about
humping the gathered legs
and even ate the cake,
prick red as a wet crayon
stabbing the chocolate.
Head cocked at this, the cause
of my first kiss came to me: Brandi.
She let me cook fake bacon on her
play stove. She did backflips
at recess, a gesture I still consider
half-crazed, as with any inspired
gymnastics. Imagine the first Greek
so ecstatic from a kiss to sprint
into the polis and spring up, no care
for consequence, legs a spectrum, and hit
ground firm. Cosmology got dizzy.
Impossible, this immoderate dance
must have made dogs break
tethers and the people go stiff
as Parthenon pillars and the flipper,
mortified on the outside but giddy in, buzz
holy, for the time a sign, and sculptors
massage their hands, certain the whirligig
flight happened for a reason since
it happened without sense, and gods
planned the ruckus, and the body
responsible panted with life worth saving
if no democratic citizen could say
what it was.
Matthew Harrison’s writing has recently appeared or will soon in Sixth Finch,
At Length, The Cincinnati Review, The Carolina Quarterly,
Ping Pong, Superstition Review, Yemassee, and others. He lives
and teaches in Minneapolis.