After the Frat Party

I taste wildfire    on his mouth    He tells me to meet him at his house 

Night air can muddle the brain    better than gin    I pace his gravel patio

over discarded gum mosaics    We all wait    to be wanted     again

Small belts of stars circle above    like pallbearers readied    The yard frenzies

with hemlock tufts    His screen door creaks open    There is a bed    sheets

soft as angora    I do not recall if I asked    for that drink    He pulls yesses

from my lips    says that Theta girl    touched him first    Some people think

they have a right    to anything they name    He calls me    darling    The word pens

black    across my nape    seeps into flesh    I take the wildfire    into my mouth

His hands    become spiders    the kind that swallow any bird    small enough to hold

His grip is an omen    of insides stained red    Of course I break    away from his heat

Of course I run    through gravel hard    as molars    nameless    and scorched

waiting on the stars    to finish their task


Matthew Early is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. He holds a BA from Muskingum University, and is currently pursuing his MFA in creative writing at Butler University. He has won several literary contests, including the 2018 Beulah Brooks Brown Award in Poetry, run by the Academy of American Poets. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island Magazine, The Flying Island, Barren Magazine, Ghost City Press, and others. 

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