by Aries Gacutan
HATE ME! HATE ME! HATE ME!
im full up on berrylove
cheeks puffed with whipped cream
ive got enough light’n’airy
sweets to last me lifetimes––
i wanna see lemon juice and rusty nails
i wanna taste phlegm
at the back of my throat
i aint never been so
never gave so little
never wanted u to give so much
(spit it out, kid
or crunch down hard)
why dyou think digestibility mattered?
why dyou wanna whip urself clean––
slop down easy like yoghurt––
who told u its impossible for ppl to love hard edges???
poem for a bartender
sun over the lake painting the sky in gold & grey // & the wind thru the open door sets all the glasses jangling // there’s music here but u gotta pay attention // to catch it // past the here-there-rush-hour rhythm of the evening // take a seat // take me away // it’s too easy to forget to pay attention // guy behind the bar’s singing out to whitney houston // what song does a cocktail sing? // what beat is the coffee machine // tapping out // staccato // with verve? // he self-styles as an observer & a charmer // he watches warm hands meet in the middle // the dishwasher hums // the guy behind the bar harmonises with the ducks // on the lake // as they cut placid streams thru the water.
the orders keep rolling in.
everything’s a song if u try hard enough.
Aries Gacutan (they/them) is a writer and editor based in Wathaurong country. Their work has been featured in Meanjin, Voiceworks, Archer (forthcoming), #EnbyLife and Baby Teeth Journal, among others. They enjoy pondering the complexities of gender and eating strawberries. On occasion, they will play a video game.
Seeking words with sizzle, poetry that wraps us in burning ribbons and won't let go. Send us your best!
Photo used under Creative Commons from John Donges