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Ian Martin :: Five poems

withdrawal / withdrawing

the other kids learned how to kill
while you were burning honey
on a hot plate, expecting results

chasing omens in a corner, folding
in on yourself, as if iteration were
a virtue and not a hiding place
an everlasting gobstopper

you left a candy wrapper on the table
in the front hall and it was
there the next day
in accordance

           invert yourself
reap the emptiness
coat it with honey

an earth torn into
yourself as limited by

the occurrence of raw materials
taffy twirled around a claw

as you grew up wrong
in the wrong places, expecting
sweetness to be enough, expecting
the taste to last, setting up
your musket, loading it
with sucralose

the other kids learned how to love
as a form of killing
as your honey burned
as the seasons went sour

to disappear

to do so gracefully
but not too eagerly

(everyone is watching
but not closely enough)

to satisfy the fussiness
a kindergarten marriage

the parts of you that started
disappearing when you were born

will never be gone completely
they hang out by the swings

fucking each other
with extrapolated bodies

horny at the thought
of a complete extinguishing

to exist for any one thing
a kindergarten promise

to be happy with the half-life
to stop flirting with the end

(he’s out of your league and
you’re making a scene)

meeting an older version of myself in a dream

after the wordless hookup. after the breakfast of pita and eggs. buttering myself up. asking the big questions. ignoring what i say if it doesn’t help me right away. after the wordless museum visit. pointing to the salvador dalis of my mind as excuses. condescending to myself. asking if the cats make it. after the fifteenth move. after the wordless cohabitation. believing that there’s another way. using the record player maybe twice a year. buying more cats as if that’s okay. as if we’ve learned to trust our own decisions.

aubade for baron

to awake in the basement of
the morning. to cry across

dimensions for the other boys.
to commune with another

when every bite is to draw blood.
to be always in the midst of

leaving. to taste everything
in case it could be home.

the “you” in breakup songs

to be unhappy and know my place. to be grown into or encompassed by accident.
unhappiness as a load-bearing weight. unhappiness as a medium. to be drenched and
suspended in jelly. not for me but for now, comfortable. suffocation just the wrong hug.
to be unhappy and imagine my hug. to be encompassed in time, colliding, fleeting,

Ian Martin is, by and large, bi and large. His writing has appeared recently in Pretty Owl Poetry, In/Words, rout/e, and Absolutely Orbital. Ian has released 4 chapbooks, including PLACES TO HIDE (Coven Editions, 2018) and YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP THIS UP FOREVER (AngelHousePress, 2018). When he’s not writing, Ian is developing small video games and complaining online. []

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