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2 Poems

Jay Keery

It’s our problem free

Gold lion:         majestic    cute blonde      luscious locks scrunching moles into waxy skin

look into its eyes   find meaning?    nothing      but a vapid  cartoon babe

but no?   was looking in wrong place     tracing lines of hair    I see a message
scribed or scribbled    in gilded strands

“hakuna matata”

Oh   I say  Is that Swahili?

It’s Lion King
 they say

Yup     got that but     I think it might also be...    Swahili

they are upset    I see   they are white    they say     It means no worries

Yup     got that too...

I take 3 seconds to Google    the language of the tattoo    they’ve had for 3 years     indeed      Swahili
it means no worries

they flip over    (we’re in bed)   tensing their calves    oh no     another? doth my eyes betray?

the most moth-eaten ink    expressly gay    all squeezed  into one landscape   a scene wriggling out beneath lesbian leg hair    the characters I kid you not:

a pair of measly music notes      a flat blue butterfly    both lifelessly hovering over
rigid rainbow

they say    Don’t worry    It’s not what you think             This one’s about Grandma

I try to remember    what it is they thought I was thinking    but we touch skin to skin and
-no worries-  

true to Disney Dyke theme    they say they just learned the term    “Pillow Princess”
they describe:      catatonic sleep themed sex      my fingers flinch towards corrective Googling

yet instead I nod:   Snow - got it- White -of course- Sleeping-check- they are Beauty -confirmed-  
(I guess I’m dysphoric enough to be Prince)

am I worried?   no     nothing in my     vapid blonde brain       my    helmet head
call me Smith     call me Scar           either way    I’ll gladly pretend you’re     kind of dead

like blue butterfly flapping flimsy against rigid rainbow
I fuck their renitent body     to the music of two flat notes

bee boop bee boop:      I don’t think I make them cum



Pucker Up

I was essentially pink slipped out of a scene
of indie-rockers.  But only the ones who like holiday parties and
straight babies. No. 
No one threw a flag in my face.  Nothing as gallant as that. 
Rather word got round that I was
out.  Before you invite me to your Patriot’s day barbeque
I’ll be accountable for why.  Before you share your platter of anti-
pasto I’ll tell you I was ousted for licking a dog’s
butthole.  For licking the butthole of the french bulldog of
the hosts of the party of the new year. 
They were mad. 
Now, for reasons I can’t imagine, nobody wanted to ask me
why I did it.  No one cared about the real story. Yes.
The dog’s story and my story are the same.  Neither of us remember
if the butthole was actually licked.  That’s not really what matters.  Although
to be real, what dog has EVER complained about whether or not
their butthole was licked… not really what matters. 
That poor fucking dog.  All night with the party horns
confetti bombs erupting like mine fields he navigates
for hopes of shrapnel meats.  I’ll tell you
It’s not easy.
So the hosts invite all their soft indie friends. Fine. Only
they make the mistake of also inviting some “hardcore punks”
(and one queer person).  These attempts at authenticating your
Rock and Roll party never really go as planned. 
They’re lucky they got out clean.  Got out with nothing
but a potentially cleaner butthole.  You fools.
A punker sees me and he sees the dog, Norman.
Some fast calculus takes place.  The punk reaches down
plucks up poor Normy’s back leg like a turkey shank. 
Stop that.  Let him go! I plead.
So it seems pretty obvious what happens from here, right?
Obviously the guy says he’ll let him go only after I lick this here dog’s
-you guessed it- asshole.  Or sorry, you were probably guessing
“butthole”, but remember, this is punk rock. 
And there was poor Norman, wriggling in pain until
he gives up, deflates like a microwaved potato
his impassive permafrown masking the sheer panic and tragic humiliation
he must feel in this moment… he must...feel.
I can’t take it.  I make the plunge and perhaps I lick
the butthole.  Perhaps I lick slightly to the right of 
the butthole.  And it’s all history from there. 

Anyways, years later, after being forced to miss countless
potlocks with straight people, I’m at a punk show and
who should I see but one of the hosts- the husband.
He decides he’s gonna follow me to my car...
drink a beer in it.  And I’m confused but I see my opportunity
I say, You know, I never licked your dog’s butthole
I don’t think so.
 And he’s like, it’s fine, it’s fine.
But I can’t tell if he believes me or is just disinterested in
me talking, like, in general.
Always the husband that’s like, I get you, Man
shirking the blame of shame on the wife as though
it’s rather Victorian of her to be mad that I licked her dog’s ass
and I wonder if he’s thinking about his own butthole
but what comes out his mouth next is
You know, I just want to say that you and your friends
are like, women who are just comfortable being women,
you know what I mean?
  I stare blankly.   You know, 
you’re not up in arms about it.  It’s like you’re just girls and you
don’t have to prove anything and you’re comfortable
being, you know, girls? 
Ok.  Yes.  That makes more sense
Thank you.  I nod.  And keep nodding while he stares
waiting for further affirmation as I try to understand
how this relates to buttholes.  And did I even
need to blame a man for my butt licking sins
when I am just so comfortable
with who I am? 


Jay Keery lives in Western Mass where they make gay things and attend the UMass Amherst Poetry program.